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Socialism and Modernity
Craig Calhoun, Social Science Research Council, Series Editor
24 23 22
Peter Beilharz, Socialism and Modernity Loïc Wacquant, Prisons of Poverty Tariq Modood, Multicultural Politics: Racism, Ethnicity, and Muslims in Britain Fuyuki Kurasawa, The Ethnological Imagination: A Cross-Cultural Critique of Modernity Lawrence Peter King and Iván Szelényi, Theories of the New Class: Intellectuals and Power Pier Carlo Bontempelli, Knowledge, Power, and Discipline: German Studies and National Identity Elizabeth Jelin, State Repression and the Labors of Memory Gil Eyal, The Origins of Postcommunist Elites: From Prague Spring to the Breakup of Czechoslovakia Alan Milchman and Alan Rosenberg, editors, Foucault and Heidegger: Critical Encounters Michael D. Kennedy, Cultural Formations of Postcommunism: Emancipation, Transition, Nation, and War Michèle H. Richman, Sacred Revolutions: Durkheim and the Collège de Sociologie Pierre-André Taguieff, The Force of Prejudice: On Racism and Its Doubles Krishan Kumar, 1989: Revolutionary Ideas and Ideals Timothy Mitchell, editor, Questions of Modernity
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Socialism and Modernity
Contradictions, Volume 24
University of Minnesota Press
Minneapolis • London
MN 55401-2520 http://www. mechanical.umn. Published by the University of Minnesota Press 111 Third Avenue South. No part of this publication may be reproduced. v. or transmitted. Suite 290 Minneapolis.Publication information about previously published material in this book is on pages 221–22. Socialism. electronic. — (Contradictions . HX45. stored in a retrieval system. cm. Social history—1970– I. p. Socialism and modernity / Peter Beilharz. without the prior written permission of the publisher. ISBN 978-0-8166-6085-8 (hc : alk. Copyright 2009 by the Regents of the University of Minnesota All rights reserved.upress. paper) — ISBN 978-0-8166-6086-5 (pb : alk. 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 09 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 . or otherwise.B45 2009 335—dc22 2009004569 Printed in the United States of America on acid-free paper The University of Minnesota is an equal-opportunity educator and employer. Title. Peter. 24) Includes bibliographical references and index. recording. paper) 1. photocopying.edu Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Beilharz. in any form or by any means. 2.
Between Totalitarianism and Postmodernity 9. The Fabian Imagination 5. via Americanism 1. Socialism in Europe—after the Fall 11. Australian Laborism. Social Democracy. The Life and Times of Social Democracy 4. Socialism: Modern Hopes. Socialism after Communism: Liberalism? 10. Intellectuals and Utopians vii ix 1 17 27 42 50 72 87 95 107 116 142 . Socialism by the Back Door 3.Contents Acknowledgments Introduction: From Socialism to Modernity. and Social Justice 7. The Australian Left: Beyond Laborism? 6. Postmodern Shadows 2. The End of Australian Communism 8.
Looking Back: Marx and Bellamy 14.12. Socialism and America Notes Publication History Index 167 179 189 201 221 223 . Modernity and Communism: Zygmunt Bauman and the Other Totalitarianism 13.
many of their names appear across these pages. but it never really mattered: they were always there. because it confronts the author with the challenge of self-interpretation. a real pleasure to work with. I saw three recurrent licenses: David Lovell. Nikolai. but all its preconditions are profoundly social. vii . The editing work of Nancy Sauro and Marilyn Martin at Minnesota was amazing. As I assembled the permissions for this book. I am proud to offer him this book in return. This book is dedicated to the memory of my father and my parents-in-law. I thank them for encouraging me. The process of preparing these essays for republication is educative. as has Bronwyn Bardsley. At the University of Minnesota Press. and Rhea supported me across all these years. The initial suggestion for this project came from Craig Calhoun. Likely they never quite knew what I was up to. Dor. who was always steadfast and fun. and Thesis Eleven. to see this writing have a second life and a new and different audience is even more warming. whose friendship and trust I value. of reading these earlier writings also as signs of times with their own histories and of watching these histories unfold after the fact. Sage Publications and Chris Rojek. I worked with Carrie Mullen. I thank them. Writing is a solitary act. Richard Morrison. to put a message in a bottle at all. It is wonderful to publish an essay.Acknowledgments The essays collected in this book cover twenty years of my life and the recent history of socialism. and especially Jason Weidemann. Many people helped me on this path.
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not least in this global frame of reference. from marxism to critical theory or whatever comes after. Both of those terms have now dispersed as their objects have become diffused.Introduction From Socialism to Modernity. the hero (or culprit) is apparent. But the prior issue. empire) has made a significant comeback.” is where did the identification of modernity with capitalism come from in the first place? For the left. via Americanism Over my lifetime the discourse of radicalism has shifted from socialism to modernity. It all began with Marx. but the identification of modernity with capitalism. Not socialism.1 When did the dominant radical discourse shift from “capitalism” to “modernity”? These days. Across that period there has been a significant historical shift and a conceptual semantic shift that reflects it. twenty years ago marxism was still a significant global influence. where the Communist Manifesto is now identified as the founding text of globalization-talk. Karl Marx has been partly rehabilitated. The elegance and ix . with or without reference to communism. The essays here track these shifts from socialism to modernity-talk or to what I called “postmodern socialism” in a book with this title published in 1994. Twenty years ago there was still a Soviet world system. which well preceded Marx both as theory and practice. This volume gathers essays that cover a twenty-year span. we could well observe that capitalism (or at least its cognate global term. before we ask when the idea of “capitalism” gave way to that of “modernity.
The legacy of this work was historic. and one solution. democracy. the Grundrisse (1857–58). the overthrow of the bourgeoisie was the singular solution to the problem. His most evocative works.x Introduction power of Marx’s work can be condensed in a single image: Marx set out to establish the critique of political economy as the necessary ideology of capitalism. in the period when we started the journal Thesis Eleven. In the moment of myself and my associates. but now. though other factors such as the tendency of the profit rate to fall. At this point the Hungarians had already done much to promote taking seriously the idea of the modern. the Melbourne representatives of the Budapest School in exile. and Capital (1867). are successive installments of this project. Logically. Modernity” in Theory and Society in 1983. at least not in the West. Capitalism: Revolution: Socialism. there was an essay that helped to crystallize this lack of a single locus of power. Fehér and Heller had taken this impulse . living in Melbourne. Marxism became monofocal. the transit point between capitalism and socialism. For subsequent marxists. Ferenc Fehér and Agnes Heller. where coercion was combined with consent and there was no single locus of power. Revolution became the vital third term. of course. By the 1930s the marxists’ Italian follower. The Paris Manuscripts (1844). could also help out. capitalism. Modernism and the modern mattered.. socialism. religion. had made available to us in draft form a paper that eventually appeared as “Class. Problems of gender. the credibility of revolutionary marxism would collapse (Vladimir Lenin). Revolution was the pivot. which became Marx’s lifework. was connected with the period of cultural innovation before the Great War. race. became second-order problems that would be solved after the revolution. Leon Trotsky knew not only how to advocate revolution but also how to do it: seize the post office and the centers of finance. et al. as pluralists were happy to point out. as an aesthetic but also as a sociological category. and bureaucratization. for marxists its singularity was an effect of the singular nature of the problem. If there was any sense in which it could be claimed that there was a dispersal of power. there was one global problem. Australia. Antonio Gramsci. and so on. Democracy. especially under the imperative of the postmodern. those of capitalism. capitalism’s propensity to crisis and depression. that of the modern itself. Aesthetic modernism. close parliament. too. decided that this revolution would not work. from the Second to the Fourth International. it became more pressing to interrogate the primary condition.2 Its object was to claim that modernity was characterized by three logics.
Historically. The first was that these societies were some kind of socialism.Introduction xi on variously. for it synthesized Marxian and Weberian motifs in a way that fused them. Weber. for Weber socialism could be only a nightmare because it threatened to replace one pole (capital) with another (the state). Fehér and Heller. where power would be dispersed rather than monopolized by capital. culturalist. Lukács had kept company with both Max Weber and Georg Simmel. was always a sociological pluralist. but his followers. who at this point were busy trading in their Louis Althusser for Michel Foucault. Revolutionary marxism had no time for talk of modernity. The third was that they represented a new form of society sui generis. one for whom the power of capitalism was indeed fateful but always to be weighed against the power of bureaucracy and the state. The second was that they were some kind of capitalism. a dictatorship over needs (as they called it in the title of one of their books).4 Even Trotsky had anticipated the possibility that the Soviet Union was a qualitatively new social formation. . of course.”3 Lukács’s essay already pioneered the idea of critical theory before the fact. but not least from their teacher Georg (György) Lukács. and indulgent. If for later American pluralists like Robert Dahl socialism was logically inconceivable because power was always dispersed. perhaps especially state capitalism. Weber had none of the faith of socialists in the civic or third sphere as a place where socialist currents might also dwell. three possible explanations of Soviet-type societies were logically available to marxists. This kind of argument associated with the Budapest School in the period of their antipodean exile had very little effect on revolutionary marxists. struck more closely to theories of the hybrid or degenerated workers’ state versus state capitalism. Marxists generally went for one of the first two explanations because capitalism and socialism were viewed as exhaustive analytic categories. as is made abundantly apparent in his most scintillating 1923 paper “Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat. such as Ernest Mandel on the one side and Max Shachtman and Tony Cliff on the other. Nor were most revolutionary marxists very well equipped when it came to the challenge of beginning to make sense of Soviet-type societies. wanted rather to advance the notion that the Soviet Union was best understood in the first instance as a political regime sui generis. by now writing in collaboration with George Markus. smug. which looked all too bourgeois. Foucault’s work did eventually supply the kind of sensibility associated with Weber or pluralism.
and indeed a New Man (women still had to wait). a design regime. The Soviets loved this prospect at . The reference to America in Stalin’s 1924 definition of Leninism as a combination of “Russian Revolutionary Sweep” and “American efficiency” was. not even in the formal sense. Antonio Gramsci was combining political economy and culture. Democracy. This could in turn be connected to the argument concerning the three logics in “Class. as Terry Smith puts it. and bureaucracy. as Arnason observed. as in the speculations about the new Soviet man as a “Russian American. a domestic regime.7 This. to make the modern. characteristic of postrevolutionary Bolshevik culture. perhaps bureaucracy. there was no democracy. was the Soviet Union another path to modernity. Johann Arnason developed the case for an alternative modernity in his study The Future That Failed: Origins and Destinies of the Soviet Model.8 Arnason’s general sympathy was evidently with the sui generis approach. capitalism or more literally Americanism. While Lukács was shifting from sociology to culture into the 1930s. later suburbia and Levittown.5 The question then emerges.”10 Yet the ideological enthusiasm and economic borrowing of the Soviets only substantively effected the logic of industrialization. Fordism represented a new way of producing but also of consuming: it promised a whole new way of life. Modernity. in turn. a mass society based on closed national circuits of mass production and mass consumption—not just Detroit but Hollywood. to make modernity as a cultural order. anticipated his later and significant contribution to the idea of multiple modernities.xii Introduction rather than as a political economy that could be assimilated to existing models or ideas of capitalism or socialism. or was it another modernity? Triumphalist procapitalists after 1989 would of course announce that there was only one modernity. not least in his prison writings on Americanism and Fordism.11 Gramsci’s great contribution was to understand Fordism as both culture and political economy. and an advertising regime as well as an economy of conveyor belts run along the lines of scientific management. This promised.” The Soviet Union could then be viewed as a distinct combination of the logics of capitalism (or.9 His work was also sensitive to some of the more peculiar ideological crossovers involved. democracy.6 Responding among other things to Dictatorship over Needs. strictly. the terms of argument have become not capitalism versus communism but America versus Europe. This promised a new civilization. industrialization). In more recent years.
in the repetitive sense.16 Soviet Fordism took the particular form of Fordsonism. whatever the ambivalences that complicated their reception of it. tractors. Only the Soviets could not deliver consumer goods at the same .13 Whatever the case.Introduction xiii both the elite and mass levels. efficiency. Vladimir Mayakovsky loved the Brooklyn Bridge. both ordinary Russians and their extraordinary Bolshevik leaders were infatuated with Americanism. in turn. it was the truck and tractor rather than the passenger car that expressed Soviet institutional desire. Ball retains a clear sense of focus on the vital fact that this Soviet enthusiasm was an example of mass modernism and not just a playful distraction for the avant-garde. Fordizatsia—Fordization—saturated Soviet social life from the 1920s.” Trotsky was in exile. The extent of this American and bourgeois support of socialism across the 1930s was extraordinary. the man of steel. not least in hydroelectrics. This was socialist steel. The plan for the Stalingrad tractor factory was made in America. Americanism was often viewed less as mechanical. “no significant branch of Soviet industry developed in the 1930s without some assistance from the General Electric Company. Soviet publications called for the creation of “Russian Americans” and Soviet Americanism. in his study Imagining America: Influence and Images in Twentieth Century Russia. forged in the image of Stalin. the Germans also loved Fordism. for example. Stalin was happy to acknowledge that fully two-thirds of the nation’s large industrial establishments had been built with American assistance. automation and automobile. but American nails arrived by the boatload. not bourgeois. This was not a solo affair. possibilist. demanded Soviet power plus Prussian railway order plus American technology and organization of trusts plus American public education and tractors.14 Nikolai Bukharin called for marxism plus Americanism. than as voluntaristic. growth at Amerikanski tempo.19 The Soviet Union and the United States were welded together by the enthusiasm for the new world and the technological futurism of the 1930s. one at an elite level. as Ball puts it—one popular.15 Lenin.12 As Alan Ball shows in his alignment of Russian and American modernism. As Ball puts it. From aesthetics to everyday life. progress and more progress. anything was possible.18 But these were socialist. the machine: locomotion. All the motifs were there—speed. Trotsky famously demanded Bolshevism in the form of Soviet shoes with American nails. There were two cults of Ford. however. giganticism. and almost everyone admired Henry Ford.17 American technology and personnel played a key role in Soviet industrialization.
In the Soviet Union the symbol of the future remained the tractor or truck. As he put it in the opening to American Civilization. James. for James. the American Dream mattered. Where it excelled in the latter sphere was in popular culture. into the 1960s he liked what he saw. The American dialectic involved a “struggle for happiness. He was not alone on the left in valuing what he called American civilization. European socialist sensibility told him that this was civilization compared to totalitarian barbarism but that the completion of civilization would be socialism itself.21 His sensibility was that the nineteenth century belonged to Europe. Lloyd Warner. In gangster films. the United States replaced the United Kingdom as the model for Das Kapital. Democracy was a wonderful ideal. the twentieth to the United States. In their hands. in the bizarre contrast between social prometheanism and personal powerlessness. where the producers of Model Ts and As were also potentially their buyers. He was a marxist. “The American Civilization is identified in the consciousness of the world with two phases of the development of world history. Herbert Marcuse. was that Americanism could be so innovative as industry yet so derivative as high culture. this was a very different kind of Fordism to the consumption model of Detroit.” an observer of the ordinary intelligence and enthusiasm of Americans. Washington and Henry Ford are the symbols of American Civilization. but unlike. R. but it needed to be extended into the sphere of production.” a tension between creative capacity and the modern trend to fragmentation and alienation. James lived in the United States for fifteen years. It was new. Was this. a collective good.xiv Introduction time. rather than the passenger car. it was not merely a bourgeois fantasy or a distraction from harder things such as class struggle. which James applauded. argued the same. but also with Elton Mayo.”22 The puzzle. or merely another road to Americanism? One of the most profound of the state capitalist marxists. radio dramas. L. and Lewis Mumford. C. The second is mass production. and comic books were found the combination of frustration and violence that was period American culture. say. The first is the Declaration of Independence. a Soviet model of modernity. such as Charles and Mary Beard and Max Lerner. came to argue that the American case was indeed both exemplary and exceptional.20 For James. The cult of work led to a mechanized civilization and a standardization of everyday life that resulted in psychic anxiety. then.23 James connected with Marx in all this. The Soviet . His older. during which time he became a “neighbourhood man. others.
like any other significant cultural trend. lost into the broader flows from which it earlier emerged. The essays collected in this book might be taken to address an Australasian exceptionalism or to defend alternative socialisms from orthodox. it remains difficult to image one without the other. “and take me with you. Where Weber viewed the West as the universalizing culture. at least intellectually. My encounters with them were transformative. But there are other modernities—Asian. and dispersed. In Australia this dream took the image of the Lucky Country. becomes mainstreamed.25 As the focus shifts from socialism to modernity.26 Having cleared my stage. “Yankee Go Home!” read the graffiti on third world walls. My earliest serious contribution to scholarship emerged from doctoral work with the great Gramsci scholar Alastair Davidson. there is a great deal more than this to the contributions of Smith and Bauman. Trotskyism in particular.Introduction xv Union became a dull bureaucratic version of state capitalism.” Americanism and Fordism indeed looked like the dominant postwar modernity. different socialisms. What residual forms and presences does socialism take now? Bauman’s work follows socialism into culture. though socialism also maintains a presence here as utopia. it also shifts to socialisms and modernity. But for me and my work. James gave that role to Americanism. Like other socialist scholars. in the stronger sense of an imaginary state of affairs that guides thinking and desire but can never itself be actualized. Whatever the asymmetry between their powers. antipodean. It focused on the revolutionary tradition. Latin American. Bernard Smith’s work follows a similar logical path. forms. The American Dream became universal. though it also spread through Europe in the 1950s and then into Asia. whose footprints were always there before me. where in another hand there was added. In this my work has shadowed that of Zygmunt Bauman. or were. however they were internationally mediated. especially Soviet.24 It has also been much influenced by the antipodean scholar Bernard Smith. not least its Jacobinism. where socialism. for whom peripheral culture also feeds the centers. as the Postwar Dream. for whom other people’s modernities and modernisms are also exemplary. it then became incumbent on me to replace these false idols with something more useful . I have given much of my working life to the task of extricating early marxism and other socialisms from under the Soviet experience. which I wanted to get off the historic stage because of its fatal flaws. and so on—and there are.
and social democracy with the obvious linear logic implied in their juxtaposition. not least because of its foundational relationship to classical marxism. Western marxism. I have always. The ALP had a significant heritage. the object of my desire and the subject of my life’s work. My natural attraction was to German and Scandinavian social democracy. Being antipodean—in my case. and on its organizational form. though intellectually this paled in contrast to the heritage of German social democracy or even English Fabianism. to council communism. called Transforming Labor. So far. represented by the Australian Labor Party. the ALP came out looking tawdry. if for the wrong reasons.27 Western marxism. as documented in this volume.xvi Introduction and ethically desirable. English ethical socialism. My next major work. on the dominant radical culture. find a lifeline out. but never a revolutionary. Emotionally and intellectually I was in trouble. not least because Gramsci understood the importance of the Southern Question and not only of Fordism. living in Australia—also necessarily meant taking a position on laborism. though definitely more interesting. but then it got worse. though through these earlier years it was always Gramsci who appealed most. in turn. strapped when it came to embracing wider conceptions of solidarity or citizenship. was disappearing before my eyes. Fabianism was far more interesting than most imagined. and others around Thesis Eleven. one on the ALP. then that of Zygmunt Bauman. Unsurprisingly. compared Bolshevism. My line out came with the realization that I should write about the work of Bernard Smith. definitionally opened the door for me to Weber via Lukács. Fabianism. in a sense. and Fabianism. so bad. as the ALP converted itself into Blair’s New Labor avant la lettre from 1983. been a marxist. Socialism. Labour’s Utopias. in a stronger or looser sense. Both gave me . I became a major critic of this New Labor. the other a set of second-order global reflections on this experience called Postmodern Socialism. Julian Triado. In retrospect it seems to me that our critique was often right.28 In 1994 I wrote two books. Together with Rob Watts. except in the case of New Zealand. We took the easy path. which went even further right. of comparing immediate Australian experience with images of the good society from Marx and others. but German social democracy represented its richest inheritance. Laborism’s limit was that it had always remained a producer’s politics. I faced a choice: I could either continue to work on socialism and risk getting bored or change. though it did at the same time license the politics of globalization in Australia in a manner without precedent.
There was a certain logic of return in my path. “The Fabian Imagination. After all. but the sociological import of his work. The personal had not become political for me so much as the intellectual had also become personal. It tests the work of Eduard Bernstein and Karl Kautsky. for. This Introduction and the last chapter. The themes of romanticism and enlightenment also figure here. where marxism is central to but never exhaustive of the socialist traditions that preceded and postdate marxism. his views on the antipodes and cultural traffic.” the next chapter.” is used to open the volume in a panoramic way. More. at that time. and well recognized as such. pending further evaluation. Similarly. loving subjects. were barely recognized. Chapter 2. and to argue positively for their projects as exemplary. Bauman’s work was widely represented in talk and footnotes.” were written especially for this book. it was my good fortune to enter the house of socialist scholarship indirectly. The first chapter. for they had also been lifelong socialists who shifted from politics to culture. at the time of my writing. they gave me an affirmative opportunity. to work and breathe with living. seeking to save them from the dominant condescensions of posterity. Macpherson’s The Life and Times of Liberal Democracy. given my modest origins. never to be trumpeted as a new emperor. Smith was the leading Australian art historian. critical register. . too. I had begun with the figure of Trotsky.” offers another kind of introductory optic.Introduction xvii continuity. the latter as a central frame for the modernist hopes of marxism (though I also want to insist that romanticism remains central to marxism. autobiographical rather than panoramic. This chapter was preliminary to my later book Labour’s Utopias. It follows the broad sympathy of my work. “Socialism: Modern Hopes. with intellectual history though in a negative. neither had yet gained the recognition that he so richly deserved. but there was. seeks to do the same for the Fabian tradition.” is a pun on C. B. it might also refer to my own point of arrival. no single monograph interpreting his work. Postmodern Shadows. The essays collected in this volume track some of this path. The title of chapter 3. for they are both exemplary individuals and intellectuals. the former as a line to the postmodern. The allusion is dual: by the back door might be where you stash yesterday’s papers. especially to Marx’s own thinking). Thus I was able to work continuously with my own past while simultaneously working out of and away from it. “Socialism by the Back Door. Now I was able to interpret and to pursue the work of exemplary yet somehow marginal thinkers. More again. “Socialism and America. “The Life and Times of Social Democracy.
the individualized perspective that indeed sociology set out to socialize. Chapter 9. 1963) and Intervention (b. “Socialism after Communism: Liberalism?” addresses the paradox of liberalism and modernity. have treated Fabians as idiots. again.” traces a different local history. “The End of Australian Communism. referring back to Gramsci and forward to Touraine. intellectually. Arena (b. D. Chapter 5. sight unseen.” takes a step back to fill in some of the elements of the historical context of laborism and its conceptual and political limits.” uses the themes of the Thesis Eleven reader of the same name published by MIT Press in 1992 to canvass some of these themes. the usual prerequisite of the encounter has been a refusal to read their work. “Socialism in Europe—after the Fall. Chapter 10. above and beyond the interventions and clashes of reviews and journalism in the immediately local debate about the prospects of Australian New Labor. As elsewhere. 1980) and the arguments developed in books I published in 1994.xviii Introduction The dominant reception of Fabianism on the left has been to see Beatrice and Sidney Webb as “two typewriters clicking as one” and to overlook the extraordinary talents of thinkers like G. Cole. For better or worse. and this remains so even after socialism.” was written at . and it gave me the opportunity to stretch out. 1972) among them. five years before the global involution of communism. for it involved trust on his part. After socialism. “Between Totalitarianism and Postmodernity. At this point we take an antipodean turn. Every sociologist knows the limits of liberalism. Chapter 7. The CPA leadership in Melbourne dissolved itself into the Labor Party in 1984. My purpose here is simply to open another door. “The Australian Left: Beyond Laborism?” was commissioned by Ralph Miliband for the Socialist Register. Social Democracy. the CPA was also a little public sphere. H. Transforming Labor and Postmodern Socialism. its orthodoxy did not prevent the CPA from attracting some of the best and most unorthodox of Australian minds. in particular. Yet in our everyday lives every little encounter or action is social and socialized. His doing so marked an important personal moment for me. Marxists. to tell the local story for outsiders. The following chapter. and Social Justice. It connects some of the signs of those times with the experience of Thesis Eleven (b. Some Australian journals also led. the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) combined the worst of tradition with some interesting innovations. Chapter 8. to let another tradition breathe. As elsewhere. liberalism has become a kind of universal default position. “Australian Laborism. Australian communists also led. In the CPA’s collapse.
In 1971. my beloved teacher N. at the invitation of Craig Calhoun. from politics to interpretation. who also initiated the process that resulted in the book you are holding. when I was in the final year of high school. I imagine that it was my work on Bernard Smith. most of my earlier work was on Australia and Europe. is the subject of “Modernity and Communism: Zygmunt Bauman and the Other Totalitarianism. American dreams persist. These encounters were supported by remarkable individuals such as Bernard Bailyn and Daniel Bell. which Bauman calls socialism’s hot-headed younger brother. tracking his particular concerns with socialism and what he calls the active utopia through to his ruptural work in Legislators and Interpreters. returning to Bellamy in an archival way. It was an experience from which I never looked back. W. on Marx and Bellamy. that persuaded the Committee on Australian Studies at Harvard that I was worthy. I came to America late as well. where socialism took a step back. but of course I learned a great deal more about America. In 2002 I worked as William Dean Howells Fellow at the Houghton Library at Harvard. So I traveled to Cambridge to teach about Australia. Some of the results are registered in the penultimate chapter of this book. Saffin bid me to read Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward. and most of it was conducted in archives there rather than in the United States.” employs the Sombart Question as a way to trace and interpret some of the most significant views on American socialism. which itself expresses the best and worst of modernity and modernism.Introduction xix the invitation of Arthur Vidich. in the antipodes. . 100 Years of Socialism. My journeys stateside became at least annual. Imagining the Antipodes. The final chapter. from Daniel Bell to Michael Mann. I first visited in 1993. my friendships here some of my closest. though I also came to puzzle about what I really knew about my own place.” the next chapter. “Socialism and America.” enters the labyrinth of Zygmunt Bauman. who wanted me to connect my own work to the magisterial 1996 volume of Donald Sassoon. as does dreaming in the antipodes. with whom I became acquainted when I served as professor of Australian studies at Harvard from 1999 to 2000. In any case. Bolshevism. For my journey from socialism to modernity has also been a trip via America. where I seek to reconstruct Bauman’s images of postwar Soviet and Polish modernity as a counterimage to Bauman’s Modernity and the Holocaust. this is a confession that America came late for me. Chapter 11. I hope that writing this book might also be viewed as an act of reciprocity. “Intellectuals and Utopians.
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Socialism: Modern Hopes, Postmodern Shadows
Today, socialism may seem to be part of the past; perhaps this is necessarily so. To begin to consider the arguments involved across various socialisms as social theory already means to begin to break up these firm, if imaginary, distinctions between past, present, and future. For if the socialist traditions often think back, they also necessarily reach forward. Socialism is one central trend in the critique of modernity, for socialism rests on the image of modernity as it is and as it might be. Its main strength has been its capacity to call out the critique of the present by comparing it with senses of pasts and distinct possible futures or else by comparing innovative experiences in some times and places with more routine achievements elsewhere. Socialism thus functions as critique, via utopia; and at the beginning of the twentieth-first century we might conclude that it works better in this critical register than as a politics aimed at the possession of state power. Socialism is, as Zygmunt Bauman puts it, the counterculture of modernity.1 Well into this millennium, the presence of socialism may be more discernible as a culture than as a politics. In this broader sense, socialist argument replays various claims and counterclaims associated with modernity and critique via romanticism and enlightenment. Both rural and urban, modern and antimodern, socialist theory remains the alter ego of capitalism.2 Thus socialism has run arguments parallel to many of capitalism’s claims, including its obsession
with economy and, into the middle of the twentieth century, with the state. Similarly, socialism runs a dialogue of its own with America and Americanism as the putative model and future of modernity. To begin, it is important to register two historical facts. First, socialism has a history, a plurality of traditions across place and time. Second, the fact that marxism has come to dominate socialism does not mean that the two are identical. Socialism has a history; of which marxism is a part. Socialism preceded and postdates marxism.3 These facts raise other issues, such as the extraordinary power of local cultures, to the extent that, for example, some communist traditions remain far more deeply marked by local stories than by the grand narratives of Soviet marxism.4 Socialism as a social theory coincided not only with the radical aspirations of the French Revolution but also with the earliest reactions against the industrial revolution. Arguably there are two streams of its development. Socialist argument has a local, practical current that emerged into the 1830s and emphasizes cooperation, contrasting socialism to individualism and hoping for a maintenance of the older orders and habits against modernization.5 It also has an intellectual or middle-class stream that often incorporates these local insights into more ambitious schemes or hopes for the future. Robert Owen and Charles Fourier were earlier representatives of this intellectual stream, which really came into its own with Marx, where for the first time the socialist project became a property dispute between warring intellectuals. Marxism in a sense abducted socialism, but especially after 1917, when the Bolsheviks pinned the marxist flag to their own attempt to seize power and construct the socialist order in the Soviet Union. Socialism consequently is identified with marxism and with the Soviet and subsequent claimed socialist roads from China to Cuba and elsewhere into the third world. Marxism thus became an ideology itself and sacrificed its capacity to criticize the present. Does this mean, however, that socialism can only ever be a negative or oppositional trend? The point for any consideration of socialism as social theory is that politics and critique do not get on well together, at least when it comes to state power. But this obsession with the state came late, discernibly in the interwar period of the twentieth century. Socialism is often identified with statism, but this is misleading. The earliest socialists, like Owen and Fourier, favored the local level of analysis and viewed cooperation or self-management as crucial, and Marx followed them in this; even Marx’s greatest work, Capital, thinks its object at the level of the capitalist factory and thinks its alternative as the socialist
regime of associated producers. Early socialists worked more at the level of the exemplary politics of the commune than at the level of largescale organization, and again Marx followed them in this, for he failed to bridge intellectually the gap between the individual factory and the globalized world system. Local socialism thus has historically coincided with the idea that small is beautiful, and thus has revealed the power of its own romanticism or antimodernism. For it was only with the work of Max Weber, Georg Simmel, and Émile Durkheim in different ways that sociologists centered upon scale and complexity as irreversible features of modern social organization. Marx’s social theory is still guided by the spirit of Rousseau, in that problems of scale and complexity are largely withered away. This is exactly what motivated later turns to market socialism in Eastern Europe, and marketism, say, with the later work of Alec Nove: the recognition that markets deal better with scale than do bureaucracies.6 From the beginning, then, socialists have been active in dispute as to whether socialism involves more progress or modernity or less. Some, like Henri de Saint Simon, anticipated Durkheim in presuming that socialism will be modern or it will not be at all, presuming therefore in this that socialism is a state of affairs to be achieved rather than an ethic or an attitude. Marx’s own work indicates the shift from romanticism to modernism. Others dug in on different positions. Thus Ferdinand Tönnies’ incredibly influential defense of community, Gemeinschaft versus association or Gesellschaft, was a leading example of the romantic socialist case, where socialism was the opposite of everything that capitalism indicated—size, mobility, speed, rootlessness, restlessness, dirt, promiscuous sex, legalism, money and contracts, and urban frenzy.7 Tönnies’ views in turn called out Durkheim’s modernist socialism in The Division of Labour in Society (1893) and in his Bordeaux lectures on socialism (1894–95), where Durkheim sent Rousseau and Tönnies back to the eighteenth century and insisted instead that the idea of the whole romantic personality be replaced by the expanded solidarity afforded by industrialism. Today we forget that Durkheim and Tönnies were both socialists, and this is one reason we fail sufficiently to think of socialism as a social theory. Perhaps the more explicitly recognized period dispute here was that between William Morris and Edward Bellamy, whose competing images of the socialist future clearly indicated corresponding critiques of the present and social theories appropriate to their understanding. Bellamy published his novel of the sleeper waking, Looking Backward,
in 1888. Against the image of capitalist waste and disorganization, Bellamy posited the image of socialism as highly organized, without friction, and in effect militarized, nationalized, well-fed, fit, and, to our eyes, gray. Morris hit the roof at this philistine good news and wrote in return News from Nowhere (1890), depicting an explicitly rural, Thames Valley utopia where modernity was not celebrated but pushed away, small was beautiful, and beauty was central to the quality of living, as John Ruskin before him had insisted. The history of socialisms since has worked this contradiction, among others, between the sense that the idea of socialism involved more modernity and the idea that it involved less. The significance of Marx’s work here emerges most fully, for it covers both aspects, a fact that his followers generally avoided. Marx offered at least five images of utopia. To track them is to witness Marx’s own embrace of modernity as industrialism, or his transition from green to gray. The Marx known to us in the English language from the 1960s was different from the Marx of the Soviets. The extraordinary efflorescence of marxism into the 1970s involved a humanist phase, maneuvered by the 1844 Manuscripts, followed by a structuralist moment led by Louis Althusser. But in the 1960s the Marx for today was deeply romantic in spirit, more in tune with Schiller’s lament for human fragmentation than with Lévi-Strauss’s science of the human mind. The great Marx of the period was the Marx set against alienation, implying a wholeness and authenticity that capitalism had destroyed, making it necessary to destroy the destroyer in turn. The utopia implicit in Marx’s 1844 Manuscripts was one of guild labor, where the medieval connotations denied the very idea of the division of labor. Marx put a Fourier spin on this in the famous passage in The German Ideology where the good society, playfully pictured, would involve hunting, herding, fishing, and criticism—a horticultural life with not a smokestack in sight.8 All this changed across the period in which Marx left the green of the Rhine for the dirt of Dean Street and the British Museum. His subsequent images of utopia evoke automation, the trade-off between boredom and free time in the Grundrisse, and the self-managed factory in the third volume of Capital. A fifth possible utopia is glimpsed in Marx’s correspondence with his Russian admirers into the 1870s, where Marx allowed the dispensation that communal socialism might still be feasible in Russia.9 Marx, of course, denied utopia but dealt in it every day of his life— again, necessarily so. For his purpose was to show, at first, that capitalism
was a blot on the natural landscape, then later, that it was not the only possible way to organize modernity or industrialism. Marx’s social theory remains central not only because of its critical power and influence but because of its capacity to contain this contradiction as it coincides with the progressive entrenchment of industrialism. The young Marx, like Owen and Fourier, could still imagine that industrialism was reversible. By the time he wrote Capital, that realization had changed; already in The Communist Manifesto this other modernist stream was apparent, that the real challenge was to harness the forces of production to popular need. But there were other transformations across Marx’s work as well. One is powerfully apparent in the 1859 preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, where Marx made plain his substitution of political economy for the earlier Hegelian curiosity about civil society. This was a landmark in the history of marxism, for it plainly indicated that henceforth marxism’s concern would be within political economy itself. Marx and subsequent marxists became the wizards of economic analysis, predicting capitalist breakdown, falling profit rates, and inevitable proletarian revolution. This logical turn away from politics or culture within marxism was not to be remedied until the later appearance of Antonio Gramsci. Culture and politics became epiphenomenal within marxism, the result of economics rather than realms in their own right. Socialism became a result of capitalism, because classes had their interests inscribed into them by the structural relationship of exploitation between bourgeoisie and proletariat. Marxists spent their lives trying to work out why the proletariat failed to live up to these projections rather than wondering about the logic or interests of the projectors themselves. As later critics such as Cornelius Castoriadis and Jean Baudrillard would put it, marxists were neither historical nor materialist and were not revolutionary but messianic; they had succumbed to their own mirrors of production.10 Marxisms proliferated after Marx, not least with the political victory of the Bolsheviks. The diversity of marxisms did not generally acknowledge the diversity in Marx’s own work, partly because it was unknown and remained so until the Marx Renaissance of the 1960s. Marx’s influence touched his contemporaries, but marxism did not take off as a political force until its institutionalization by the German social democrats closer to the turn of the century. Certainly Marx influenced those with whom he came into creative contact, such as William Morris, though the content of Morris’s socialism, sometimes referred to as his marxism, was
also thoroughly local. Romantic and technologically sensitive by turns, Morris was made to look like Marx because both insisted on the necessity of revolution. But revolution was not the property of marxism, even if gradualism or enthusiasm for reform was the more common attitude among English socialists. Marxism emerged as the ideology and theory of the first mass political party, the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). The SPD became widely known as a kind of countersociety or state within the Prussian state. Its greatest strength also proved to be its greatest weakness; its ghetto nature made it vulnerable to the Nazis on their road to power after 1933, and its own messianism fed into the fatalistic slogan of the German communists, “first Hitler, then us.” Marx’s legacy had left unresolved the exact question of how socialism would emerge. Would it automatically follow the collapse of capitalism? Would it instead be the conscious result of self-organized activity? Or would it, as the 1859 preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy implied, involve some combination of these, where the correct economic conjuncture would call out the appropriate political intervention? Marx’s inattention to the theory of politics left the question of the party unresolved, or absent. Marx’s party, like Rosa Luxemburg’s, looked like the whole working class. But classes did not act, as such, so political representation became necessary. Modernity caught Marx napping, together with Rousseau. The Bolsheviks closed this political hiatus by inserting themselves into it as the combatant, vanguard party. The German social democrats set out practically to make another culture, working in general on the sense of maturational reformism—sooner or later, socialism would come, whether out of crisis or a gradual growing over, whether by electoral means or collapse. The larger political legacy of marxism left a dual possibility, reform or revolution. In The Communist Manifesto Marx and Engels had sketched out a ten-point program of minimum reforms; yet their tougher stance, outlined by Marx in the penultimate chapter of Capital, clearly indicated that socialism would arrive through revolutionary apocalypse. The German social democrats grew apart on the basis of this split. Some, like Eduard Bernstein, came to view socialism as a project of citizenship to be achieved by civilizing capitalism. Others, like Karl Kautsky, were happy to combine revolutionary rhetoric with reformist activity, while still others, such as Rosa Luxemburg, wanted to adjust reformist reality to fit revolutionary theory.11
The SPD turned marxism into catechism so that its rank-and-file members would have the revolutionary science at their fingertips. Marxist dogma insisted that the two basic classes, bourgeoisie and proletariat, would dichotomize until the vast majority of the working masses would bump off the capitalists. The “Bernstein Controversy” over reform versus revolution involved two distinct issues: one, whether reformism was to be preferred, and two, whether marxism must be revised in order to register this political recognition theoretically.12 Was marxism a set of axioms, beyond challenge, or was it a method of analysis open to necessary revision? The process in which marxism became an ideology also involved its consolidation into scholastics. This is one of the clearest of historical cases in which a social theory intended to help explain and even change the world became an impediment to these processes. Marxism became, especially in the hands of Kautsky, a general theory of social evolution where each mode of production emerged triumphantly out of its precedent. Kautsky set out these formulae in The Class Struggle (1895), an unrepentantly modernist text where all that is missing from capitalism’s industrial achievement is the crown of socialization. Kautsky therefore set out to prove that all would become proletarians, peasants included, before the bourgeoisie could simply be shown the door. At the same time, it was Kautsky who insisted that, left to their own resources, the workers would never achieve more than trade union or economistic consciousness, so they would always need good theoretical leaders like himself. Lenin agreed and built an ideology on this view in What Is to Be Done (1902). Kautsky eventually came to the opposite conclusion after 1917, arguing, like Bernstein, that history could not be forced. In effect Bernstein and Kautsky formed a long-term intellectual alliance; Bernstein continued the marxian impulse of reforms in the ten-point program, while Kautsky carried on the revolutionary rhetoric of Capital. Bernstein’s position was closer to the ethics of Kantianism or new liberalism, while Kautsky’s sociology shifted in the direction of a Weberian marxism in his 1930 magnum opus, The Materialist Conception of History. Max Weber had taken sides with Bernstein, however, in preferring revision as the normal attitude for social science and theory. Kautsky, for his part, agreed with Weber that specialization was our fate, and therefore that modernity would overdetermine socialism rather than the other way around. Lenin’s utopia, best formally revealed in State and Revolution (1916), still sought a new world characterized by simplicity rather
Lenin’s high Bolshevik utopia was something more like the image of German capitalism. Its political logic remained populist in that it pitted the people against their exploiters and rendered the alternative exploiters. Unlike Luxemburg. What was Bolshevism as a social theory? Like other streams of socialism. something of a contradiction given the driving modernism that otherwise characterizes his work. for his model of socialism had always been industrialist and modernizing.8 Socialism than adjusting to complexity. Lenin’s belief. to Trotsky’s left. Bolshevism was plural and its paths were many. Lenin dreamed of extending direct democracy into Soviet experience. for whom one wise man was worth a hundred fools. Lenin’s response to various failures and setbacks was to introduce the New Economic Policy (NEP). it was Lenin who was dominant as actor but Trotsky who was the imposing theorist. to Lenin’s right. Trotsky’s was a Faustian Bolshevism. Trotsky. accommodating Russian agrarian realities rather than forcing them. Lenin’s theoretical writing was more occasional and less systematic than Trotsky’s. which in 1921 recognized the status quo as the framework for future Soviet efforts. that the success of the Russian Revolution depended on the German Revolution was not merely strategic or even economic. the Bolsheviks. With regard to Bolshevism and the massive shadow that it cast over the twentieth century. symbolized by Americanism ascendant. which tended to be populist and rural or at least based on the idea that Soviet socialism would remain agrarian and not only industrial. one prepared even to risk life and limb for the thrill. though Lenin and Trotsky still stand out. the prospect of even . in contrast. accepted the NEP with hesitance. Lenin in a sense combined Luxemburg’s desire to radicalize practice with a kind of pragmatism that values political expediency above all else.14 Lenin’s model of socialism as modernity was something like capitalism without democracy or with the lure of an impossible. His ultra-utopia in State and Revolution combined the putative libertarianism of “all cooks can govern” with the grim insistence that the practical model for socialism would be the post office. direct democracy held over it by the Bolsheviks. Lenin was always a Jacobin. like Trotsky’s. Lenin viewed the “organized capitalism” analyzed by Rudolf Hilferding as the basic model for Soviet modernization. invisible in the process. and Preobrazhensky. This futuristic or modernizing scenario stood in contrast to Lenin’s other views of the prospect of socialism. but the challenges of modernization without democracy became overwhelming. together with Bukharin.13 While his final utopia looked more distinctly Maoist.
or at least another form of organizing capitalist technology. and statists. divided between those who sought more willfully to return to or extend the past and those who sought to modernize it. that became characteristic of marxism into the twentieth century. Thomas Carlyle. The Fabians became known into the 1930s as progressivists. or obsession with technology. caught up as various European socialisms were in the 1880s with vegetarianism. The line back to Marx was plain: if abundance was the practical precondition of socialism. Trotsky hoped not merely to follow the Germans and Americans. socialism became another way of doing capitalism. and indirectly William Morris. The producer—or. more specifically. the proletarian—became not only the subject of history but also the citizen. John Ruskin.” Russian radicals had long been divided into localists and Westernizers. The futurism of Trotsky embodied something of the productivism. even if we consider Lenin and Trotsky alone.15 Anything is possible—this was the motivation. British socialism. not least of them Fabianism. Socialism became a matter of harnessing the best of capitalist technology to what were claimed to be more benign ends. from a modest hope of feeding people on the one extreme to the project of endlessly reconstructing the world on the other. not least through developing enthusiasms for principles of Taylorism and scientific management. alternative dress. for whom the old image of England’s green and pleasant land looked more interesting than the prospect of Coketown or the Satanic Mills. but to outdo them.16 Its substantive theoretical impulse came not only from John Stuart Mill and Owen but from William Cobbett. and bicycling. The conflict between traditionalists and modernizers was acted out in various British sites. Americanized Bolshevism—that was the way forward for him. sometime apologists for authoritarian regimes or at least for the principles of social engineering that underpinned them. the distinction was by no means peculiar to Russia. Trotsky’s impulse was a kind of developmental romanticism where the frenzy of creation reached out into the sublime. The image of socialism in the Bolshevik tradition thus disperses across a spectrum. the rational mastery of nature.Socialism 9 glimpsing what men and technology could do. too. The opposition to modernity or civilization became a major theme of social criticism across socialisms and kindred positions such as distributism . and his incapacity to rule and to produce at the same time quietly kept the Bolsheviks in the business of “politics. and thereby of humanity itself—this was the canvas. Fabianism began as an alternative life movement. reformers.
and Arthur Penty and with The New Age but defended most ably by G. Herbert Spencer. charging that they were conspiracies against the public. but the producer would remain privileged. The image of society involved would be based on direct democracy. and housing. associated with various theorists such as Sam Hobson. The Webbs began from positions closer to liberalism or cooperation. This point of their mentality was closer to Marx’s. or gild. where it was lost as statism triumphed with the Beveridge Report into the 1940s. H. More recently these kinds of issues have been pursued with regard to broader questions of British industrial culture and the residual presence of romanticism even among the captains of industry. who took its legacy into Fabianism. Tawney. socialism. Alfred Orage. Socialism for . H. ethical or Christian socialism. others. The guild socialists viewed utopia as a coalescence of local unions modeled on the medieval guilds. D. puzzled over waste and inefficiency. at least until Harold Wilson and then Tony Blair. Cole’s early hope was for the federation of these self-governing units. with the added sense of evolutionism associated with the work of Beatrice’s childhood tutor.17 British socialisms have long been more heavily influenced by medieval than by modernizing claims and motifs. Cole. Adam Smith’s jibe against trade unions was more accurately addressed to guilds. that the development of society made progress possible. closed and traditionalistic in the absolute sense. after all. The strongest English variant of medievalism was guild. The idea of evolution alone— progress from lower forms to higher—plainly locates the Webbs on different terrain from that inhabited by the guildists. was a major contributor to the laborism associated with the British Labor Party into the 1930s. like Beatrice and Sidney Webb. a veritable example of small is beautiful. or head and hand. autonomous and capable of holding together the moments of conception and execution. of health. But the Webbs’ image of utopia lacked the monomaniacal developmentalism of Trotsky.20 Revolutionaries have enjoyed the prospect of casting Fabianism as mere “gas and water socialism”. nevertheless remain fundamental.18 Different local English lineages also claimed that the way back opened the way forward. based on the idea of fellowship among men and stewardship of nature led by R.19 While Tawney worried about compassion and mutual responsibility and Cole echoed the early Marx’s enthusiasm for the autonomy of labor. their hope was rather to service such a minimum of provision as might enable all to flourish in their interdependence. education. the problems of provision.10 Socialism and Catholic ruralism.
for the Webbs it was middle-class folks lacking in social conscience who were parasites. Fabianism built on laborism an infrastructure of research. consisted largely in practical terms of reorganizing the wealth that society already possessed. “Work. All citizens. at least until they took up the cause of reform.22 The evident weakness in this. viewed the bourgeoisie as implicitly parasitic or without social function. as the Webbs went on to suggest in their Constitution for the Socialist Commonwealth of Great Britain (1920). proletarians or mock proletarians for the Bolsheviks. Social solidarity could be developed on the emerging patterns of social evolution. G. the kulaks or rich peasants became the enemy. organization. Others. would have a place in the division of labor. like Lenin. Indeed. Social problems could be measured. the middle classes. would also need to find their social vocation. Wells or Trotsky. as in Bolshevism. savants for Kautsky. pushing an ethic that sought to tie together the . and appropriate reforms enacted to see to their resolution. which they did from August Bebel through Wells. where the politics of socialism was constructed in terms of the defense and protection of workers and their families. which itself violates the ethics of modernity and yet holds it up. Some. as in Durkheim’s view. fat capitalists. tempted by their location and tradition to social parasitism. but they continued to presume its gendered nature. scientists for H. But for Fabians the citizen would not be conceived as the proletarian. Fabianism had better articulated the common sense of the labor movement referred to historically as laborism. The opposition to social parasitism motivated various kinds of socialism. themselves reflecting the traditionalism of patriarchy. so that. it was finance capital that was parasitic. or coupon clippers as parasites. from Hilaire Belloc to Werner Sombart. Fabianism in effect dissolved into the state. factory inspectors for the Webbs. For yet others. like British liberalism the victim of its own success. Not that socialists failed to address domestic labor. is the failure to take seriously the private sphere and the gender consequences thereof.Socialism 11 the Webbs. as well as their heroes. each would depend on all the rest. like Marx. and agitation.” in this discourse as in most others. then. refers to paid public work rather than to the labors of the home.21 Socialists had their distinct enemies. in this view. then. like Lenin and Trotsky. as in much else of socialist theory. And for socialists and radicals of antisemitic bent. vocational electorates should be developed alongside geographical forms of representation in order fully to register the significance of work in political life. with the 1945–51 Labor Government. viewed aristocrats. their existence publicized.
His view was that the marxism of Kautsky and his Russian equivalent. that which indicated that socialism was possible only as a result of the action of self-organized masses of men and women. a peripheral marxist who understood uneven development without falling for the hypermodern cosmopolitanism of a Trotsky. not only a recognition of constraint—and he was stubborn in this insistence until he was personally constrained within Mussolini’s prison walls. More significantly. He was not only Italian but. The younger Gramsci was a council communist. Sardinian.” by which he referred both to the power of capital and to the fatalistic influence of Marx’s Capital. who passively accepted Kautsky’s maxim that their job was to wait for the revolution. had become a deadweight on marxists. conceived as the practical project of a new class alliance or a new historic bloc. The Notebooks also reconfigured marxist politics by placing Machiavelli at the fore and conceptualizing the Italian Communist Party as the New Prince. Gramsci embraced the October Revolution as “The Revolution against Capital. where he wrote the famous (if thematically scattered) Prison Notebooks. Vital to his legacy is . not just a political economy—a statement of will. H. Gramsci insisted on extending the voluntaristic and democratic element in Marx. more specifically. ensures social coherence. The idea of the Russian Revolution was exhausted by the 1940s. Cole. therefore depends on the possibility of counterhegemony. that people make history but not just as they choose.12 Socialism gradual modernization of society and the solidarity imputed to its traditional forms. D. Yet the image of the October Revolution excited many earlier. taking up a position for the new proletarian. the Notebooks foregrounded culture. ideology. socialism. replaced in romantic Western imaginations by images of Chairman Mao or Che Guevara. Georgi Plekhanov. Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks reinstated the marxian formula of the 1859 preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. and common sense as the practical field on which bourgeois societies ensure their self-reproduction. including George Bernard Shaw in England and in Italy the young Antonio Gramsci. espousing a kind of social democratic syndicalism not unlike the view of G. Hegemony. self-organized order. All this became fundamental to the postwar regimes of reconstruction until they were washed away by the processes of crisis and globalization that ran through the 1970s to the 1990s.23 Gramsci was a revolutionary communist who was subsequently reinvented as a culturalist predecessor of the Birmingham School of Cultural Studies. Gramsci insisted that marxism was a politics. not only force.
” was Georg Lukács. The Hungarian marxist Lukács not only founded the later Budapest School after 1956 but also was a central voice in the formation of the Frankfurt School into the 1920s. so called because of its guiding sense that Western cultures offered different challenges than those facing others like the Bolsheviks seeking socialism in the “East. among other things. and Herbert Marcuse. in contrast. most notably Theodor Adorno. in common with Lukács.Socialism 13 not only The Prison Notebooks (1971) but also The Southern Question. was influenced not only by the failure of socialist revolution in the west. viewing American culture as either candy floss or televisual totalitarianism. by other means. as did laborism in Britain. Max Horkheimer. where Gramsci opened the case that modernity would always ever be traditionalistic as well as progressive. refracting together (as differently did Simmel) the themes of commodification (Marx) and instrumental reason (Weber) to develop the theme of reification. In the case of Lukács’s analysis. Korsch wrote one of the best books on Marx. The trajectory of critical theory. pursued a kind of aristocratic radicalism quite at odds with Gramsci’s curiosity about popular culture and folk wisdom. often grouped with him and the German philosopher Karl Korsch in the retrospective category of “Western marxism. German Social Democracy became historically institutionalized as a form of social management into the 1960s. where his influence was negligible except for its impact on marginal local council communists such as Paul Mattick. Gramsci’s contemporary. in 1936 before taking up exile in America. Karl Marx. There. migrated to America to escape Nazism. the impossibility of socialism except at the hands of a magically endowed intellectual proletariat. for Lukács was the pioneer of a kind of Weberian marxism. Western marxism.24 The so-called Western marxists therefore developed the political and cultural spheres of analysis that had been neglected since Marx’s call that vision lay in the analysis of political economy rather than civil society. In the meantime. The legacies of Gramsci and Lukács were either institutionalized or ignored by their respective communist parties. where the prospects of socialism gave way to the power of barbarism.” was also deflated by those developments in the West. they cultivated the antimodern or at least anti-American thread of the German tradition. combined with the . but also by the outcome of Nazism in the Holocaust. The critical theorists of the Frankfurt School.25 The Frankfurt School. culture emerged only to show. The extraordinary extent of the postwar boom and the arrival of mass consumerism through the 1950s.
especially by student radicals from Berkeley to the London School of Economics (the latter founded by the Webbs). Indeed. The famous question put forth by Sombart in the title of his 1906 book was Why Is There No Socialism in the United States? which presumed that socialism was something necessarily to be measured by its presence or absence at the level of central state power rather than within civil society or as a countercurrent to modernity. Yet far from being absent in the United States. The Marx of the 1960s conjured up themes going back to alienation as well as commodification. Radicalism rode the wave. for more of that material abundance into the 1960s brought out the New Left with a vengeance. given the power of capital and its culture. American socialisms are long of lineage and rich in variety. Jürgen Habermas. André Gorz. If the answer to Sombart’s question. whether via Marcuse in One Dimensional Man or the newly translated Marx of the 1844 Manuscripts. from the nineteenth-century utopian experiment through Bellamy and the Bellamy Clubs to the Industrial Workers of the World and various intellectual permutations from Lewis Mumford to the pragmatism of Max Eastman and Richard Rorty.14 Socialism effects of the cold war. With Herbert Marcuse. though they have often been marginalized within scholarship by academics with short memories. the essential message provided by radical social theory often seemed singular: the world needed to be changed all at once.27 Marxism revived as a critical theory. Thus. as state theory. rephrased as “Why was there not more socialism in the United States?” was material abundance. of the end of alienation. and marxist humanism was scorned by the rising star of structuralism. perhaps for the last time before expiring. traffic increased both into English-speaking cultures and back to the centers as radicals struggled for equal rights and dreamed.29 For example. and Serge Mallet. which in effect. perhaps especially in the United States.28 State theory was often caught up with the idea that a theory of politics could be derived from the analysis of capital. meant not at all. socialism has a rich American history. saw socialism lose impetus again until the 1960s. when critical theory and Western marxism were revived or reconstructed. Other socialisms were eclipsed by marxism. was Gramsci rediscovered as a political theorist.26 Reformisms could easily be made to look feeble by armchair revolutionaries who claimed a radical distance from the Soviet experience but whose vocabularies were basically Bolshevik. . the real tease was yet to come. which also established an image of structure or history as unshiftable. still. again.
After all that has happened in its name. Formally speaking. socialism might be said to have returned to the civil societies and social movements that originally called it forth. part of the past and thereby of our present. and democracy. diminished in its certainty just as its existence is warranted by what surrounds it. For as socialists have declared that the core of their utopia is democracy and not only equality. who had replaced Marx. Working out of the Budapest School tradition of Weberian marxism. Agnes Heller and Ferenc Féher identified the field of modernity as at least threefold. was the party still the key agent of social transformation. and not only in economy. for its claims to being taken seriously as a culture of social theory had outgrown its street credentials as a practical politics. Power was discovered to have existed throughout modernity.30 On both these accounts. The general problem. The first involved the rediscovery of methodological pluralism. in principle available in Weber but politically accessible through the work of Michel Foucault. industrialism. that socialism was less a state of affairs to be achieved upon the negation of private property than a restatement of the priority of the social against individualism. The second point of erosion involved the rediscovery or renegotiation of democracy via liberalism as political theory in the reemergence of social movements and the reappraisal of civil society. so have their ambitions returned to the horizons of . or Jacobinism. socialism remains the kind of critique and utopia that it began as. characterized by the differing logics or dynamics of capitalism. inasmuch as it could be named. was now reidentified as the problem not of capitalism but of modernity.31 This was. Foucault widely replaced Althusser. marxism now appeared to be a regional theory rather than a general theory. The sticking point for Gramsci remained that of Bolshevism. The striking locational difference was that by the end of the twentieth century socialism lived in the academy perhaps more than anywhere else. or was it merely a collective noun naming the various related social movements that held it up? The collapse of marxism as the key presence within socialist social theory at this point came in at least two different forms.Socialism 15 Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe sought to use Gramsci as a way out of the impasse in Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (1985). in effect. to return to one of the earliest socialist sensibilities. The fact that liberalism could be seen as radical again gave a second chance to various nonmarxian socialist alternatives.
If socialism began by claiming to pursue the ideals of the French Revolution. (2003) . its marxian claims to absolute difference may have been illusory. supporting the expansion of democracy against power or capitalism.16 Socialism social democracy and the radical liberal heritage that often informs it. Socialism remains part of the critique of modernity. neither term seems possible without the other.
whether because they are German. I cannot say. That I should be here at all is an accident. These things seem to have some resonance for me. had found himself on a boat. What I later encountered as magic. My father’s path had gone through Palestine to Australia. my mum was born there in 1924. a theater of shit. the moment. worked in the land army in the south. having made the mistake of being a German national in a British protectorate when the Second World War broke out.2 My mother had remained in Germany throughout the war. like many others.1 Or. she had experienced as chaos. Geschichte ist Geschichte—history is stories. But my own consistent sense is that we all have stories to tell. and arrived in Australia in 17 . coincidence. that Weimar began to dissolve internally. but anchors the event in the life of the person reporting. then in an internment camp overlooking the arid backblocks of Tatura. It does not aim at transmitting the pure in-itself of the event. as the maxim sets it. I could not understand what she meant when she muttered that it was a Scheisstheater. that we live in history. and that history is marked by contingency.” Thus said Walter Benjamin. in order to pass it on as experience to those listening. he. accident. twists and turns. My dad was born in Germany in 1923. perhaps. the moment inflation reached wheelbarrow proportions.Two Socialism by the Back Door “The story is one of the oldest forms of communication. When I discovered the wonders of Weimar culture at a distance.
a happy accident. my brother. recovered. So profoundly did my teacher. As in the throwaways of Marx and Trotsky. read Kerouac and Camus. on retirement. played the blues—“Crossroads” by Robert Johnson—with Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs at the Thumpin’ Tum in Melbourne. playing rock and roll. My parents’ lives were formed by contingency more world-historic than mine. a condition from which my parents have only now. Customs confiscated and presumably ate the salami. My family was then obliged to partake of something called cultural assimilation. He was a labor historian. they were from the south. traditions too. In the path of my life I have shown a modicum of competence at only one other practice. I was an alien when young. They knew. influence me that I decided late in sixth form that I could only be a teacher. for me. part-bohemian. He opened the world of the mind to me at the same time as I entered the British migrant. and made their own music in turn. in California. compelling. I inherited no stock of middle-class culture.s and a Ph. But Croydon was a good place to grow up. to the Mothers of Invention and Velvet Underground before they were popular. and a salami. rock-and-roll culture of Croydon.18 Socialism by the Back Door 1949 with her worldly goods—a promise of marriage. and accepted. although I suspect there was some subliminal pleasure for them in my discovery of Marx. I learned a lot from the musicians I grew up with. that talent and recognition were often distant partners. Australia. Norm Saffin.A. teaching in the local high school. with two M. They ended up in Croydon. a self-made intellectual. and I. when my band.. a life as precarious as the poet’s. subaltern in a particular sense. 1970. The crossovers between music and the work I do now are still. listened to the blues or to The Who and Pink Floyd. a fivepound note. they were the Raphaels who would never . my enemies probably knew nothing of the crimes of Nazism but were simply pleased that the Huns again had lost. where others of their people went. worked in metal and clay. Their Germanness was not high German. I was beaten up at school for my origins. They knew they were an underground. made up of Chris Finnen. My musical career peaked on January 1. were modest folk. and me. a place where into the 1960s people painted. spoke dialect. but they could equally have found themselves. Like others. a bad German but a German after all. they viewed their work as that of artisans. in Germany. They had a sense of history.D. in Palestine. I had one of those special teachers people sometimes have. a suitcase. earlier even in Russia.
and Alastair took me through Antonio Gramsci’s equally brilliant text.A. For this project my supervisor was the extraordinarily talented Germanist Zawar Hanfi. By now I was fellow-traveling with the Communist Party and had great hopes for the Political Economy Movement. I came increasingly to believe that it was necessary to maneuver theory and history. together with Johann P. bringing up their children. I would go across the way from Rusden to Monash University to catch the bands. something Saffin had already set me on to. I broke my studentship and transgressed the then actively policed binary divide between the college system and the universities. as an undergraduate. Prelim. My enthusiasm for labor history and marxism were then drawn out by my history teachers at Rusden College of Advanced Education. he was peripheral. And so I wrote my Prelim. pumping gas or schoolteaching. especially Don Gibb. he taught me a lot. and he knew it and thought it a perspectival advantage. Arnason from across the city. playing sometimes for fun. The attraction of Gramsci was powerful. For years I pumped gas at Fred Gregory’s Ampol station on weekends and watched the world go by. Trotskyism became more fascinating for me as a flawed but powerful political tradition. and I guess that if I had stayed a musician I would not care less. Secretly I still listen to the stuff. my capacity to monitor the shenanigans of the various Fourth Internationals was limited. On Fridays. the brilliant stuff on imperialism in 1905. Herb Feith and Alastair Davidson held the door open for me. Davidson was my examiner. they ended up as storemen. student was to write a history of Australian Trotskyism. The Southern Question. Thesis Eleven was another pact of that moment that subsequently took on a life of its own. My project as an M. and my flow charts of splits in the movement crawled erratically all over the wall. was the most extraordinary influence among them. but also to read journals like Australian Left Review and the New Left Review. Fred.Socialism by the Back Door 19 be acknowledged. who gave me enough rope to swing on. thesis not on Australian Trotskyism but on the relation between Marx’s project and Bolshevism. working for Telecom. My brother. At least I was now saved from the crisis-ridden identity politics of white boys who pretend to play the black man’s blues and take on that genre’s abominable gender politics. which was formed in the mid-1970s in an attempt to connect again the politics and economics that modernity had sundered. But now I began to read the young Leon Trotsky. at La Trobe. more explicitly to work across social theory and labor history. It is difficult for me in retrospect to sort out the .
applied fruitlessly for postdoctoral fellowships. While Thesis Eleven thus itself changed. who picked up particular but different clues from the Father and transmuted them into a third level. Through another series of accidents I found myself teaching sociology. arrived. became my silent supporter). James. It was interdisciplinary and thought that marxism mattered as the politics that Marx had never discussed. this time in the corporeal form of Stuart Macintyre. My thesis and my later book sought to apply the cellular logic of Marx’s Capital to Trotskyism. projecting Australian argument into North America as well as continuing to introduce European and international ideas into Australia. This came to be its greatest strength. The last year I was at Phillip. my load was sixteen hours across five courses. C. 1986. but I could not cope. This was astonishing to me. the concern with the transition to socialism crossed over into the original constellation of ideas that formed Thesis Eleven. first at Phillip Institute of Technology and then at La Trobe University. my wife and I had a small child and hoped for another. with Greg Dening in the shadows (Macintyre became my advocate. because my doctoral work and Thesis Eleven took form at the same time. developing a logical chain from Trotsky’s politics. philosophy. and it remains so. R. when Thesis Eleven struck up a collaborative relationship with the MIT Press. Dening. . the project of the journal also consolidated as the metropolitan centers began more fully to recognize the significant insights that might be generated from the antipodes. L. The perspective from the edge is different. and Ernest Mandel. and was ready to give up writing and research. I could not imagine what I had done to deserve the support of the research fellowship that opened for me. as professor. expected to change the way journal life was lived. that happy refuge for misfits. My project in the Department of History at the University of Melbourne was titled Bolshevism and Reformism. even though I was not his student. like Gramsci. economics. that of the various Trotskyist movements themselves. and history through different thinkers such as Isaac Deutscher. like other radical projects. as its left context in Australia collapsed along with the demise of the Communist Party and the rise of right-wing laborism in the Labor Decade.3 At the same time. however. perhaps even to change more than that. because I had time to read again. particularly after 1990. proud to be peripheral and cosmopolitan at the same time. I read everything. Another twist or accident. we barely knew each other. all of which also refract some aspect or other of Trotsky’s own thinking.20 Socialism by the Back Door relations between all these things. and it was. Thesis Eleven.
not least of all at the legendary International Institute for Social History in Amsterdam. Trotskyism led to reformism via the question of transition. I have always unpacked my books.5 If this path suggests anything. Arguing about the Welfare State. Fabianism and Social Democracy were less romantic. I am still waiting to be found out. My own work seems to me to take a form like that of a patchwork quilt. Part of this probably has to do with the nature of the academic job market since the 1980s. German. had reformists and social democrats done better? What did this say about the status of liberalism? Labour’s Utopias emerged as an attempt to sort out the relation between Bolshevism and reformist utopias. much more common than earlier. in the West. one called Labour’s Utopias. But it is also a path of ambivalence. given the culture of narcissism and not least . Social Theory. where I was to take on Agnes Heller’s job and course on the history of socialism and where travel funds enabled me to confirm my addiction to the use of the archives of socialism. and British socialisms. every other day I feel as though I do not belong. across socialism and politics.4 and another on the Australian Labor Party (ALP). shifts in class composition. a series of contiguous plates that all add up to something that covers the same kinds of concerns. more useful. more modern. in whatever office I have had. there were other books. I feel as though I have slipped into the back door of the academy when no one was looking. The university presents itself to me as still a world of privilege. premodern utopia. a candy shop. The accident at Melbourne led in effect to another at La Trobe. it is the power of contingency. Bolshevism was a proletarian. but also opens out or connects up in ways I cannot always anticipate. and it is likely too much. My situation of unease. but have always expected to move on. These kinds of concerns simultaneously connected to others about the Australian welfare state and the practice of social theory in general. Between Totalitarianism and Postmodernity. Before I knew it. a comparative study of Russian. This is more than I have ever been able to say about my path in public. and so on.Socialism by the Back Door 21 and the project splayed out into two different books. What did it mean actually to change the world? Whose world? Which change? Why. Part of this creative tension has to do with my roots and the postwar expansion of the tertiary system. arguing that these were different visions and not just different proposed paths to the same end. Like others. is one of concern about achieving an immediate sense of safety—sufficient to remain sane—together with a larger sense of discomfort about the world and the university.
This is the other end of the dialectic between theory and history. there were astonishing symmetries between modern forms of thought and the money economy. is one it shared with theory in general. that of cultural cringe and the European social theorist as hero. and Simmel worked up theoretical understanding as a part of substantive research projects on what they viewed as major social problems confronting them. or with the Western practice of philosophy: in modernity. It was theoretical—it may have been too theoretical—but it was also pluralizing. but the major problem with theory is that it has become detached. If we look inward. at least Marx and Max Weber. and in this sense they were historicists. Both institutions chewed up difference and specificity. I would argue. Extraordinarily. practitioners of history. turned into a formalistic and thin gruel of language games. partly because of its dubious claims to authority. to scientificity.22 Socialism by the Back Door of all because the traditions to which I am drawn—whether marxism or hermeneutics—tell us not to take seriously what subjects say about themselves. one should never trust what an author says about his own work. If we stand like idiots in a circle facing outward. yet at the same time. its tensions. The effect of marxism was mixed. But marxism was only ever one set of traditions within those traditions called socialisms. culture becomes too abstract and cerebral. that whatever the various ways in which the classics can be criticized. we will see each other. They were also. Personally I take great umbrage at the kind of argument that suggests that Australians have hitherto had their heads in the sand. in different ways. and neither of those categories has ever owned labor history or the labor movement. relatively speaking. Becoming a marxist into the 1970s was a mixed blessing. history can be faulted for all kinds of reasons. So let me shift more directly to the story of labor history as I see it. As Marx and Georg Simmel argued. To refer to Benjamin again. too readily. This raises. especially. colonizer and colonized. to read marxism was to discover its rich and plural traditions. and through the gaps we . indirectly. the problem is rather that we spend a great deal too much time worrying about what Europeans think this week. there is a passing chance that one of us will catch a glimpse of Jacques Derrida’s overcoat. another problem. but half of us will be watching penguins. and—especially via Gramsci—to discover that its relation to national cultures was as complex as its internationalist pretensions. the efflorescence of marxism coincided with its dissolution. We seem to forget. Ferdinand Tönnies. The core problem with contemporary marxism. Émile Durkheim.
Modern Times. the left. As George Orwell understood. Labor history in Australia became caught up with marxism partly because peripheral marxists have been good at working on imperialism. saying that the “end” of modernity and the arrival of postmodernity or “post-industrialism. for a modernizing future for labor. This much on theory. Broadside. is that there is a great deal more than this left. so that the task of doing labor history in Australia transmutes. the old socialist left. archaeological sense.” involves the end of the labor movement. witnessed the remarkable transformation of the ALP into a party of office at any price. Communists closed up shop from the mid1980s on. This is one angle on the kind of issue raised elsewhere by Verity Burgmann and taken up now in Australian Historical Studies by Raelene Frances and Bruce Scates. this has long meant that parts of the British working-class movement in effect were elsewhere. and the International Bookshop in Melbourne. the Labor Decade. Globalization is in some ways just a new word for imperialism or the world system. even if in an imaginary time capsule. the Communist Party. is dead.6 Is labor history dead? Starting from a different position. leaving behind any sense of substantial historic vocation. laborism itself. of course. But then there are those who postulate rupture. of the project of labor history. 1983–1993. has effectively disappeared. The historic project associated with the Australian labor movement. or Whitlam. the Bolsheviks were better at explaining imperialism than the Germans. however. Chifley. writing of the British colonies. the delights and disasters called Paris. Determining the status we wish to ascribe to labor history is also less than straightforward. usually identified with the signs of earlier moments—foundation. there will always be labor history. My hunch. traditionally understood. many in order to enter the ALP to argue for industry policy. as is evident in the collapse of institutions such as Australian Society. I would ask a different question: is the labor movement dead? This is a question best answered dialectically: yes and no. it does not simply close. trying simply to locate the “Australian” working class is now less than easy. for example. Its future is in that sense elsewhere. and the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the unions themselves have been modernized almost beyond recognition. as well as something of Indonesia and New Zealand. In an ordinary. Living on the other end of a colonial or imperial relationship usually generates some local insight: thus. .Socialism by the Back Door 23 might still glimpse the heights and the underworld of New York. Australian Left Review.
8 Viewed from one kind of political perspective. if only those of us who teach could persuade the youthful and faithful followers of Michel Foucault who wander through our classes that they. Labor history. . A related brief. digging out the archives. Here my initial intention. still has its work cut out for it. that Labor stood at the helm of this process. given the highly romantic rural. male and female. then. this with the remarkable difference by comparative standards. but the movement has achieved a pyrrhic victory or. all this means is that the left is dead. establishing the records. inflection of the local labor tradition. As I suggested earlier.7 the local sequel to the European frame of Labour’s Utopias. the older. Thus. The power of globalization. The theme of labor modernization again emerged as central. to write a book on socialism after postmodernism. and work processes. still has its work cut out for it. too. and its mythical reinvention under Ben Chifley and John Curtin and then Gough Whitlam. we still desperately need a new history of the Communist Party of Australia. but the New South Wales Right is alive and well and rewriting labor history from its own viewpoint. better. as it was into the 1970s. the cultures of individual unions. the milieu of the New Age here and elsewhere. laborism. à la Graham Freudenberg or Gerard Henderson. had now been disaggregated into a series of social problems that we (and the poor) simply had to live with. shifted into a larger sense that the proper frame of reference was more like the century that opened with Labor’s foundation in 1891. and there remains a great deal barely worked on. when social history and women’s history flourished. recovery work must still continue. remains vital work. then suburban. And then there are all those fields that open when labor history is interpreted symbolically rather than parochially. Filling in the gaps. invented in the 1880s. by any criterion. has arrived in the house of power called the state and is stacking up the furniture in order to avoid future eviction. say the Victorian Socialist Party. regardless of whether socialism lives or not. public and private. to try to explain the Labor Decade. took us back to the world of two nations within. must use archives. the socialist image of the labor movement may have collapsed. that what had happened since the 1980s was that the social question.24 Socialism by the Back Door These kinds of issues flooded over me in writing Transforming Labor: Labour Tradition and the Labor Decade in Australia. led to another sensibility. telling the stories. vigorously licensed by the deregulation of the 1980s. we need a great deal of excavation or construction on Catholicism and the labor movement.
then. The practice of labor history in Australia has exemplified this kind of larger orientation in a particular set of orientations. it has generalized its claims. It is another to rethink labor history as a moment in what. the underground. and rendered into psychoanalytic register by Jessica Benjamin and others. striving always for freedom not because we hope to “achieve” it but because we are forced to by the perpetual existence of slavery itself. like all particular activities. percolating into the work of Simone de Beauvoir. might be called the history of subalternality. I suggest. modern interest in history from below. to write about McDonald’s workers as well as engineers or about sex workers as well as artisans. themselves to modernize.Socialism by the Back Door 25 But the symbolic point is more suggestive. It has called subalternality by a particular name and privileged particular sites of activity. and Frantz Fanon. and. it is part of a much wider intellectual trend that wants also to look at the other end of power. conventional. Thus. Cole. Carole Pateman extends it out of G. centered on problems to do with laborism .9 It is not. H. The metaphor traveled wide and far. Georges Bataille. Labor history developed as a part of the movement called social history against the old. the other. The key trope here is the idea of master and slave posited by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in The Phenomenology of Spirit and then appropriated by Marx. Labor history is part of a larger. from guild socialism into feminism on the axis that the real problem we face is not poverty but slavery. If marxism taught us anything in the 1970s. The more general issue. Interest in the masters now necessitates interest in the slaves. who congratulated Hegel for privileging the idea of process. Orlando Patterson’s magisterial work Freedom argues so painfully that the couplet is always at work: we live. and it is surely no accident that the image of slavery will not die. narrowly political or diplomatic history. too. that all relations of power or domination are double-ended. is that labor history has been the name for a particular kind of inquiry into problems of alterity or subalternality. a subproletariat or underclass with numerous stories to tell. Labor history is concerned with alterity. simply a matter of arguing that labor historians need to get their acts together. it was that class is relational. more generically. The ongoing dualization of labor markets will itself guarantee that there remains an underground. It is one thing to argue against the naysayers—those who charge that Western practices of knowledge making are impossible—by keeping at our work. viewing substance also as subject. D. especially into modern French philosophy through the work of Jean Hyppolite and Alexandre Kojève.
26 Socialism by the Back Door over other kinds of relations of domination. and other[s] have to fight for what they meant under another name. But to make such claims is not to say that the practice ought to cease but rather to request that it cultivate self-consciousness. however. But let that be my end. and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat. this was Marx’s mistake and occasionally Hegel’s—to imagine that the dialectics of master and slave would ever come to an end. the picture at the moment suggests that the notion that socialism by any other name will smell as sweet is misleading.”10 This sensibility. a Babel of necessary stories about contingency. (1994) . In his Dream of John Ball. history from below—all these are stories. social history. not what it is called. Labor history. Pace Morris. is entirely apposite to labor history: what matters is that it is continually practiced. about the human condition. and when it comes [it] turns out not to be what they meant. William Morris says of socialism that “people fight to lose the battle. women’s history. tradition. and modernity. that it place wageslavery back into the local and global frame within which forms of slavery proliferate. about culture and power. I think.
Socialism is one such idea. But with communism in decay. Or has socialism had its day as well? As C. All civilizations need their animating narratives. Contrary to postmodernists and to certain marxists. 27 . They merge into other ideas. the “life and times” approach is by nature suggestive of an obituary. social democracy has let us down—or perhaps it is more accurate to say that we have let the project down. at least. The project. We remain firmly stuck within modernity. socialism remains on it. recurring unpredictably and often simply refusing to go away. Macpherson suggests in his Life and Times of Liberal Democracy. what of social democracy? In this chapter I argue. B. in sympathy with Macpherson. modernity is not all about flux. and hence within social democracy. there nevertheless remains something alive in the project of social democracy. given that historic responsibility ultimately rests with actors and not ideas. which I take here as my frame. Recent events in Eastern Europe would seem to confirm rather than to deny this. socialism remains one of the narratives of modernity. Communism now is off the agenda. do not follow the life cycles of mere mortals. Ideas. that if the formal institutions associated with social democracy are more or less lifeless or decrepit. however.Three The Life and Times of Social Democracy Social democracy remains a major political current of modernity. Like the Enlightenment. remains to be realized. for as the alter ego of capitalism it changes forms without ever just expiring.
The argument is staid rather than scintillating. premodern. in the present context. The 1945–51 Labor Government. By social democracy I mean the political experience that preceded World War I. social democracy has been inconsistent. A related premise on which this argument rests is that what we call modernity is in fact an amalgam of modern. and I offer no apologies for this. and postmodern social forms. and the ideological disputes over the socialist platform in the debates over Clause Four and Bad Godesberg all saw social democracy transformed from its earlier project. emptying it of all content save the thin gruel of “social justice” or socialist accounting.28 The Life and Times of Social Democracy In order to make my case. unlike communism and relatively speaking. Thus I define social democracy as prewar because. and practices. Eduard Bernstein and Karl Kautsky. or images of the good society. two premises. and one pretext. in order to argue that far from being the idiots they are sometimes thought to have been. The argument in this chapter is built on the premise that all social and political theories contain utopias. and it will mean something still different again after the present economic crisis. First. beliefs. the KeynesBeveridge consensus. I need first to provide one definition. the definition. these central figures of social democracy were both theoretically sensitive and are socially useful today. just as the events of the 1970s and 1980s again transformed social democracy. the two premises. Where communism has been something of a piece—especially in the Soviet and Chinese cases—social democracy meant something completely different before the first war than it has since the second. however well or little elaborated. But all arguments about how we ought to live rest on some utopic sense. The core of the argument then takes up the theory of two dead dogs from the history of socialism. The point of this chapter is not to defend social democracy since World War II. from Kronstadt to Tiananmen Square— social democracy has been a more rapidly moving if simultaneously declining object. The significance of this premise. its historic path ruptural rather than entirely predictable. worldly rather than wizardly. Here socialism differs from liberalism only in being more fully explicit or more wilfully utopian. which looks romantically backward or futuristically forward (or both). is simply that it highlights the way in which not . Second. Though revolutionary marxists would likely be loath to concede the point. Where the experience of communism has been in some ways consistent—from the New Economic Policy to perestroika. social democracy was transformed by the events of the 1940s and 1950s: it was not always the gray cat that it came to be.
especially with reference to classical hopes for active citizenship and individual-social self-development. for this purpose. such as modern medievals R. Marshall. simultaneously exhausted and yet capable of addressing the human condition in our times. social democracy has become fundamentally implicated with the state and its paternalism. partly because of the tradition’s own inclination to ridicule and caricature reformism. which. that ideas matter. The limits of social democracy are evident and will not be further discussed here: like other forms of political thinking. but also unlike Fabianism. via Lenin. My pretext for this case. and it has refused to take its own professed principles seriously into the realm of policy. and this relates back to the earlier premise. the crepuscular figure displayed by Trotsky. My argument is that Bernstein and Kautsky offer modern socialist utopias—unlike Bolshevism. offers a premodern. functionalized utopia.” It follows that “old” social theory still speaks to us today. in his slippers.The Life and Times of Social Democracy 29 all of our problems are “new. Macpherson for his part thus speaks of the limits and possibilities of liberal democracy. Neither of these figures is taken sufficiently seriously by socialists. The main concern of this chapter is rather with the discursive possibilities of social democracy. one-class proletarian utopia.2 Bernstein and Kautsky are potentially useful because they provide better social theory than the British. H. as I have mentioned. Bernstein and Kautsky deserve better than this. partly because they descend from marxism and partly because they develop a kind of weberian marxism. and both dimensions are highly significant. Tawney and perhaps T. Bernstein is typically dismissed as a kind of Ramsay Macdonald in disguise. hoping rather that socialism might be worked out by others.1 The essential message of Macpherson’s essay is that liberal democracy is both alive and dead. and that consequently “old” ideas may be helpful in the process of attempting to develop a vocabulary for social change. because they are arguably better sources for rethinking social democracy than the British figures who generate so much enthusiasm today. The central thinkers of social democracy. Bernstein and Kautsky are significant because they accept the sober necessities of modern social organization without functionalizing them into necessities. are the Germans Bernstein and Kautsky. by civil savants. that “old” problems still confront us. is Macpherson’s Life and Times of Liberal Democracy.3 . Kautsky is too frequently viewed as the pedantic pope of marxism. perpetually ready to retire. H. which offers a modernist.
The very idea that someone’s cultural location should entirely form him or her ought to be thrown out together with Robert Owen’s other enthusiasm. by comparison. Bax viewed modernity and capitalism as coextensive and consequently conceived socialism as their negation. for example. Bernstein had a different utopia.” their use of language was imprecise. Bernstein’s wife may have translated the writings of Sidney Webb and Beatrice Potter Webb. unlike Rosa Luxemburg. he translated Burgerliche Gesellschaft as civil society. For Bernstein. in his earlier articles in Die Neue Zeit and elsewhere. The first is that. This is not to deny the significance of Bernstein’s lengthy English sojourn. because again he thought the practice of civility and the institution of civil society worth defending. Was not Bernstein merely a Fabian?4 The answer to this question is no. Reformism is not a disease. however. the point was thus not to go backward. capitalist civilization was for all its excesses still civilization. English or other. Against Fabianism. not a counterstate. also wrote other things. worth defending. and he was a democrat. not a Democrat. but to seek the fullest possible development of social individuals within modernity. socialism. But if this were the only problem.7 Civility thus mattered to Bernstein. even less recognized. modernity was all loss. we might still expect today’s radicals to take Bernstein’s Evolutionary Socialism seriously. but it is to suggest that his incipient revisionism has its own roots as well. no gain. Part of the issue here is doubtless that Bernstein upset altogether too many good marxists by simultaneously advocating practical reformism and theoretical revisionism. Bernstein was a modern romantic. Bernstein.5 For Bax. opposed to Bax. modernity contained capitalism. We could as well ask why Bernstein chose England as ask what England did to him. but so did Lenin.8 The significance of civil society bears emphasizing here. spade-husbandry. the SPD was indeed a social movement. the SPD was rather a matter of a society within a society. When people spoke of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) as a “state within a state. and civilization. not bourgeois or capitalist society.6 For Bernstein. at least perhaps to read it. not least of all because civil society was the primary arena of social democratic activity. it is a legitimate socialist response to the problems thrown up by capitalist civilization. In contemporary language. however.30 The Life and Times of Social Democracy Dead Dog I: Bernstein Students of socialism from Belfort Bax to Helmut Hirsch have asked the question. and the bulk of SPD . Several distinct attributes become clear.
was exactly the room to move. apart from his freedom from jailers there. then. For democracy. who would probably view this as further evidence of Bernstein’s petit bourgeois socialism (i. as Murphy rightly suggests.9 For this reason I do not find Peter Murphy’s particular view of the SPD in his provocative paper “Socialism and Democracy” convincing.. like civility. The SPD viewed as a movement was incapable of the kind of oligarchy ascribed to it by Robert Michels in Political Parties. smoking clubs. not as socialism at all). libraries.11 There are significant marxist critics. a marxism made coarse. is surely something not innate but something we in fact learn. antismoking clubs. According to Bernstein. This does not mean. social democrats could just as well. socialism grows not out of chaos but out of the “union of the organised creations of the workers in the domain of political economy with the creations and conquests of the fighting democracy in State and community. Carchedi analyzes the problem of revisionism via another sadly unnoticed book.e. not simply to engineer socialism through the state. and so on.The Life and Times of Social Democracy 31 effort was expended within its voluntary cultural associations—bicycling clubs. What attracted Bernstein to England. have chosen to become democrats. and not just that they wanted to practice it in their cultural and associative lives. because semantically. they also knew that Bismarck would not allow them to have it. its political doctrine is an overvaluation of the creative power of brute violence and its political ethics are not a criticism but a coarse misunderstanding of the liberal ideas that in the great French revolution of the eighteenth century have found their classical expression. the relationship between socialism and democracy. But it does suggest that social democracy became administrative. that the category social democracy can be used to resolve falsely.”10 In a striking anticipation of recent events in Eastern Europe. the ordinary social democrats of Wilhelmine Germany knew something about democracy. In his important but relatively undiscussed study Class Analysis and Social Research. long before Hitler was to deprive them of it. the time will not stay away when in the face of the rebellion/revolt of the ineradicable striving of the peoples to freedom and right they will also have to fundamentally revise their policy and their ethics. in other circumstances. as much as it does not offhandishly recede behind Karl Marx. But more than this. But just as by the unbending language of facts they have already seen themselves compelled to subject their economic policy to a thorough revision. . singing clubs. Bernstein wrote further: The socialistic theory of the bolshevists is. such as Guglielmo Carchedi.
changes in class composition explain the change in or decline of the SPD. then. the argument from the left should have concerned the nature of this socialism. or. as good working-class leaders literally became petit bourgeois. he was the first to qualify it when it was read as a sign of moral liquidationism. as he put it. opening shops or workshops because their old employers blackballed them. First of all. The Muller case is indeed significant. In proposing that the goal of socialism was “nothing. writing as he was before Michels and Ostrogorsky and well before Antonio Gramsci. and Carchedi is correct to observe that its forgetting is symptomatic—the implication is that the revisionism debate began a decade earlier than traditionally thought but was suppressed by Friedrich Engels’s siding with the elders. Muller’s case is that the SPD went rotten under Bismarck’s antisocialist laws. referring to principles from which we set out. Clearly.” Bernstein’s logic was that socialism was a norm and not a goal. the idea that the movement was everything did not . it should be said that Bernstein’s maxim was deliberately hyperbolic. The significant difference is that where Michels and Murphy view institutionalization or the state as the problem. I want to suggest that this maxim is hermeneutically meaningful in a positive way. Unlike Muller. somewhat like the Michels-Murphy argument. denied them work as laborers. not its alleged nonexistence. a principle and not a plan of society. Similarly. the movement everything. And yet there is something anthropologically or sociologically surprising about the sense of surprise in the case—as though the emergence of a division of labor in the party were atypical and as though class struggle were a legitimate meta-metaphor for social life as such.14 Yet he had also. a premise and not a telos.13 Muller emerges from this argument as possibly the primary sociologist of the party. In this light. it was only at Ramsay Macdonald’s mischievous suggestion that the title was Anglicized as Evolutionary Socialism for the British edition. an entirely understandable attitude. at the same time. Contrary to received marxist wisdom about Bernstein. chosen his terms cautiously. Bernstein and Kautsky saw something to defend in the institutions of socialism.15 For this reason Bernstein titled his work Voraussetzungen des Sozialismus. is effectively that the SPD lived out the contradiction of fighting for democracy by authoritarian means.32 The Life and Times of Social Democracy Hans Muller’s 1892 study Der Klassenkampf in der deutschen Sozialdemokratie. Bernstein was committed to socialism. for Muller and Carchedi class analysis explains the problem of class slippage.12 The Carchedi-Muller case. it is worth turning to Bernstein’s (in)famous maxim that the goal of socialism is nothing.
not the other way around. while the “final goal” emasculated such struggles. as in the tradition of productivist socialism. and organization. class government is a bourgeois practice.20 The novelty of Bernstein’s thought is equally clear in the much maligned Evolutionary Socialism. The society of the future. Bernstein put emphasis not only on right but also on duty. in short. is not the projection but the suspension of class government.19 He agreed with Weber about the “centrality of interests vis-a-vis the ideal” and the “material” and proposed. not the party. referring both to the idea of the actor and to the fact of the process of movement itself: bourgeois civilization was not solid crystal. He wrote: “The idea of democracy includes. Durkheimlike. rather. and thus to make citizenship . ought thus to be complex and differentiated.17 Moreover. Socialism he understood as a movement toward a new order based on the principle of association. he saw it as dependent on political obligation. a theme rarely discussed by socialists then or still now. Here Bernstein discussed socialism in specifically political terms having to do with the citizens of the future. collapsing socialism into the utopia of dreamers. and used the category movement in the dual sense that we today associate with the work of Alain Touraine. Bernstein did not succumb to the instrumental conception of democracy. More than this. The upshot was that “social democracy does not wish to break up this society and make all its members proletarians together. He spoke of the movement. agitation.16 This was Bernstein’s view. characteristic of social democracy after fascism. and citizenship precedes liberalism and contractualism.”22 Democracy.The Life and Times of Social Democracy 33 simply betray a monolithic institutional bias on Bernstein’s part. in the conception of the present day. for Bernstein. a notion of justice—an equality of rights for all members of the community.21 He rejected the marxistsyndicalist proposition that unions are somehow the proletarian order in statu nascendi. Economy is to be subordinated to politics. it moved. that morality is even more durable than economic life. it labours rather incessantly at raising the worker from the social position of a proletarian to that of a citizen. He discussed the power of tradition and memory and argued for the centrality of the imaginary. in any case. and given to the development of personality within the division of labor.18 Thus he thought civilization precedes and transcends capitalism. This process involved the slow transition to socialism. Social progress resulted from social struggle. he argued for an active rather than a merely passive or welfarist conception of citizenship. dependent on social self-help. Bernstein had a sense of the past as well as of the future.
But Kautsky was no fool. a sense of future. of course. so that even Kautsky’s local opponents may at last finally pay him the courtesy of reading his work.” Bernstein’s maturational optimism notwithstanding. freshly imprinted by Bernstein. While Kautsky’s own tedious defenses of scale now look dated in the face not only of ecological radicalism but also of postfordist flexibilities. or a utopia.” not an “is.27 The theoretical issue at stake is probably more fundamental than we allow: all socialisms need a telos. regarding the so-called idiocy of rural life.25 Against Ferdinand Lassalle. made by itself and not by a party. They are The Agrarian Question (1899) and The Materialist Conception of History (1927).” the idea of the great day one day. I suggest. that of the Second International itself. not only in their own right but also because they illustrate the difficulties of being an orthodox marxist with empirical sensitivities. who is more often associated with “maturational reformism. a project. available in English.”23 Its purpose is to set up not a proletarian society but rather a socialist one. it cannot be said that he never ventured out of his shell. There are two central texts here. like the Webbs and most other fin-de-siècle socialists.”26 Yet in all this socialism is clearly an “ought. his views are interesting. Kautsky’s task here was to illustrate the pertinence of Marx’s claims about capitalism—the general trends toward the concentration of capital and the proletarianization of the mass—to agriculture itself. but he did not defend these when they patently flew in the face of the problems confronting him as a social democrat. both of them now. What is interesting about Kautsky’s theory is that he remained committed to a whole series of orthodox premises that Bernstein abandoned.34 The Life and Times of Social Democracy universal. the task was not to abolish the galleries . If Kautsky was a shellback. Kautsky. defended the ideas of culture and civilization. we can nevertheless see him following the footsteps of Marx. The Agrarian Question is an extremely interesting work because it shows Kautsky denying his orthodoxy where it stands to inhibit the analysis. Dead Dog II: Kautsky It is Kautsky. In fact. for the security of civil freedom is always a higher goal for social democracy than the fulfilment of some economic program. and fully recognizing the constraints of his own native language. Doubtless Kautsky’s real theoretical crime here was that he produced and subscribed to the most influential theory of automatic marxism. by happy coincidence. Bernstein declared that “we are all citizens (Burger).24 Socialism was in this specific regard best understood as the heir of liberalism.
was pragmatic. The first striking thing about this study is that it opens with a denunciation of materialism. his anticritique Bernstein und das Sozialdemokratische Programme32 is reminiscent of a teacher’s reprimanding his wayward but preferred student. Bernstein was by comparison an amateur. the problem has been that no one has read the book. to recognize that a word is in order prior to passing on the Bernstein-Kautsky pair itself. What Lukács called Bernstein’s triumph was no victory at all. So even Kautsky’s authoritative chastizing of his friend in. If Kautsky was a pope. and thus—and here he was perhaps more like Bernard Shaw than like the Webbs—Kautsky located the realm of freedom in leisure.31 Yet. It was no accident that their views then merged after the first catastrophe of Bolshevism. Kautsky’s practical position did not differ excessively from this.” So Kautsky ended up.28 Consequently Kautsky even engaged in a half-hearted attempt to wax lyrical about a craft renaissance. like his politics. Yet Kautsky’s desire to prove the theses of Capital for agriculture was to come up against what sociologists respectfully call “the data. Scale. the SPD was keen on hanging onto the Sunday china even if it were never used. of course. explaining why Marx’s theses were unhelpful and how the peasantry would continue to remain a permanent characteristic of modern class structure.29 Certainly Kautsky’s attitude toward William Morris was more positive than that of Bernstein toward his offsider Bax. Their approaches to the creation of knowledge were very different. as I suggest. not just in practice. Kautsky’s still governed by some kind of pretense to the encyclopedic. a theolog. There is further evidence of these nuances in Kautsky’s Materialist Conception. Their major difference here was simply over the social-democratic or more specifically proletarian telos that Bernstein had rejected. The oft-quoted quip of Ignaz Auer was that Bernstein had behaved stupidly by wanting to change the rules of marxism theoretically. meant division of labor. we have to turn to someone like Georgi Plekhanov to see the stereotype of marxism more recognizably at work. conventionally defined. As another contemporary saying had it. But it is not at all clear that they ever disagreed that much. Certainly Bernstein’s epistemology. for example.The Life and Times of Social Democracy 35 but rather to universalize access to them. however. he had no time for “dialectics” or for the kind of foundationalism characteristic of most marxism. Bernstein’s more postmodern and fragmentary. particularly since Karl . the latter to be maximized while the working day was to be minimized. Historically. an artisan. appropriately.30 To mention their names in the same breath is also.
for example. he presumed a kind of skepticism in knowledge and in politics and argued about the limits to knowledge and to action.35 An important intellectual source that we find for this disposition in Kautsky is the study of anthropology. Kautsky saw socialism rather as based on variable forms of activity that .”33 Perhaps Jürgen Habermas was less original than we were led to believe. that society is an organism (it is not. based practically on production but not on the image of production. At the same time. encyclopedic in interest and enthusiasms yet free of the sense of a governing or incipient synthesis. tradition. Like Bernstein. Kautsky here specifically rejected the hunter–fisher–cattleperson– critical critic utopia of the German Ideology. about the weight of tradition and the conservative nature of the mind. He argued in detail. memory. because it consists of individuals. culture.34 Moreover. people seem to have read the critique and not the original text: case closed.36 Given that he took social differentiation seriously. Thus. what we end up with is the image of socialism as a society based on differentiation. As one suspects is often otherwise the case. say. biography. Kautsky says. G.36 The Life and Times of Social Democracy Korsch sliced it up in doing pirouettes on sharpened skates in his 1929 critique of the same title. Die Neue Zeit. Kautsky’s work is also postmarxian in the literal sense that his utopic vision accepts and develops the distinction between freedom and necessity sketched out in the third volume of Capital. Wells’s A Modern Utopia or in Trotsky’s Literature and Revolution. even though his frame was encyclopedic in breadth. But if the book is opened we find a defense not of any materialism but of classical marxism. tempered by an overriding concern with the “developmental history of mankind. in H. for example. each of whom is not only sentient but possessed of consciousness). reminding us that for all their modernism the social democrats did actually take anthropology seriously. Kautsky discussed the Durkheim issue of the social construction of morality and the cultural autonomy of morality. however. which had been published in 1926. Kautsky viewed modernity as formed by the past and saw the future as structured by it. probably there is still no better monument to this than the pages of Kautsky’s own extraordinary journal. which serves as a useful artifact. and he rejected the Herbert Spencer argument central to The Agrarian Question. the sense of history involved is fundamentally different from that. where it somehow becomes at least implicitly possible to step out of time. balancing the romantic component of marxism with the sense that human beings seek self-development but also stability.
are his theoretical affinities with Gramsci. as the central premise of socialism. his comments on intellectuals are more positively reminiscent of The Prison Notebooks. The Weber connection is significant here because Kautsky took up both Weber’s political “realism” and his methodological “idealism.39 More fruitful. For as he put it.41 There are further parallels in the shared sense that state and society must be transformed via democracy and that socialism emerges from order. Kautsky seems to have understood the modernizing moment of Weber’s thought. Kautsky does not seem fully to have understood the argument about rationalization as a social trend. and not just in the footnotes.” Unlike a generation of marxists more recently. like Gramsci.42 However. not the fears of cages iron or regulative. with whom Kautsky is typically guilt-associated.37 What may perhaps be more of a surprise to the marxist shellbacks of my generation is Kautsky’s attempt to address the question of politics as a vocation.43 Kautsky added. that the theoretical possibility that the needs of the proletariat could be met within capitalism would necessitate the renunciation of socialism.”44 . where Bernstein would place democracy.The Life and Times of Social Democracy 37 work against the syndicalist identity of the tradition. again. the implicit liquidation indicating one basis of his reunification with the spirit of Bernstein’s project. These kinds of arguments occur in the context of a discussion that is explicitly sympathetic to Weber and critical of Engels. not crisis—if at all. The autodidact. Kautsky persisted in giving this place to the proletariat. Kautsky referred to Economy and Society and to the General Economic History and presented the thesis of The Protestant Ethic as a complement to that of Capital. “An enduringly perfect society is as little possible as an absolute truth. Here.38 His discussion of the limits of charisma is jarring. is as much an intellectual as is the critic of opera. though. still. If Kautsky’s reading of Weber is one-sided. the organizer.” he wrote. composed as it was only five years before the rise of the charismatic leader in Germany. he discussed the universality of intellectual life. “And both the one and the other would mean nothing other than social stagnation and death. Here. however. work is central but diverse and is viewed as a responsibility. the final goal of the proletariat is not a final goal for the development of humanity. that there is no reason to believe that the possession of academic knowledge elevates the modern citizen over the populace of “primitive” society. and here he repeated an argument from the Agrarian Question. Kautsky duly engaged Weber’s thought.40 Kautsky said.
then.38 The Life and Times of Social Democracy This is not. is that the social democratic project. although Bernstein had already argued the case in Evolutionary Socialism and Kautsky had taken it further in 1918. My argument rather is that notwithstanding idiosyncrasies to do with Darwin and whoever else. For Kautsky and Bernstein seem to have understood something of the limits on the future (if not its propensity to generate degeneracy and barbarism) and yet to argue for human possibilities within it. and embraces the postfaustian future. We return here to the idea that the German social democrats engage a kind of Weberian marxism. the theory that sits on the . This is not to say. however. then. that Kautsky (in particular) was not a shellback (though even Rosa Luxemburg was equally crustacean in political economy). It is striking. The case presented here. by which I mean a kind of marxism that is politically realistic. cosy but terminal both theoretically and practically. that even when Kautsky ventured out. too great a surprise. social democracy presents itself as one of the warring gods between whom we must choose. I think. He would have looked ridiculous in hair gel. Conversely. as though it was actually invented by Eurocommunists. This may be a heavy-handed way of describing a marxism come of age. at least provides a place to start. the figure of Kautsky loosely portrayed by Trotsky. and in language that is more alike than we might at first think. in The Dictatorship of the Proletariat. with a flat top and in black. rather. I do not mean to turn Kautsky (or anyone else) into some kind of new hero for the 90s of our own century. Thus. forgotten events. I refer back. and then we had to suffer the slings and arrows of Althusserian political economy or Poulantzian class analysis in the 1970s as a dull replay of some of these earlier. in contrast to Bolshevism. takes ideas seriously. in Weber’s sense. Kautsky and Bernstein still talk to us. to the effective location of social democracy in the heart of classical social theory. We then received the discovery that socialism has something to do with democracy as a great surprise. for it possesses a concrete utopia. My case is not that we should all become Kautskyists so much as that those who still identify with the aims and traditions of socialism should actually attempt to clarify what those aims are and where those traditions speak or are silent. no one noticed. for certainly I refer to something different than the Weberianized marxism that has frequented sociology since Frank Parkin’s “bourgeois critique” and something more pragmatic than Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s tracing of Weberian marxism via Georg Lukács in Adventures of the Dialectic. a man in a smoking jacket.
I suspect. because it mediates between social theory and politics and. H. which have to be taken seriously. sought the utopia of yeomen. Tawney’s worldview. failures and nightmares.49 the Australian labor movement has. theirs was a utopian vision that was never to reach this far back into history in search of inspiration—or escape (for men). it bridges premodern and modern. The problem in the latter connection is that while medieval ethics may be extraordinarily valuable—a theme actually suggested by Macpherson himself50—medieval .45 This locus offers us a view of sober optimism and a modern sobriety rather than the implicitly medieval sobriety of R. as well. Social democracy matters. so too was that of ethical socialism. hopes. its hopes and dreams. Weltgeschichte ist Weltgericht. with certain syndicalist exceptions. as feminists such as Marilyn Lake have shown. The most powerful. the fin of our siècle somehow compels us to reconsider the fin of the previous siècle. is that asking West Europeans to revive social democracy is about as futile as hoping that East Europeans might care to revive the imaginary of communism. These are real claims.48 Until recently. that as Martin Jay puts it. but they in turn raise others. first in the bush. The issue is significant because while communism’s utopia was premodern. then in the suburbs. so tellingly criticized in Thesis Eleven by Kevin McDonald.46 There are myriad possible objections that could be put against this case. if people take the postwar experience to be social democracy. where social democracy persists in representing a project and tradition superior to those of the local tradition of laborism. while socialism was modern. It is almost certainly true that the persuasiveness of my case will be weak for denizens of cultures that have in any way recognizably been “social democratic” since the Second World War. Perhaps because the German social democrats pitted themselves against the miseries of peasant life.47 Laborism. I would argue. as Castoriadis reminds us. we have to accept this and find a new language. about how we transcend liberalism from within a liberal or post-liberal culture. is in its genesis in fact a rural utopia that cannot have adequate purchase on everyday lives lived mainly in the cities of modernity. so did the dead dogs of social democracy. apparently insoluble. Durkheim was not the only one to recognize that communism was premodern. moreover. with the miraculous arrival of the Australian Labor Party–Australian Council of Trade Unions Accord and particularly Australia Reconstructed.The Life and Times of Social Democracy 39 cusp of modernity and tells us so much of the spirit. It reminds us. My response is that the reception of the present case is likely to be better in Anglo cultures. and woes of our time.
however. it has developed . perhaps even dangerous.” just as “rights” call forth “duties. English-style “simple life” do not adequately address the needs structures of modern citizens or the peculiarities of postmodern culture. a possible socialism based on difference as well as on differentiation need not fetishize democracy any more than it need universalize politics. With reference to the future. for 1945–51 in Britain or 1972–75 in Australia. democracy has limits of other sorts. between the possible dichotomy of the values of freedom and life.” The logic of my case has been that social democracy runs a line between romanticism and realism. between Bax and the Webbs. As Beatrice Potter sensibly if wickedly put it. Arguments for the romantic.51 These may have been better days. not with plans. arguments for reviving the past. The vital point in connection with Macpherson is the idea of uncoupling citizenship and functional status or labor market status. Dead Dogs. I leave it to other colleagues and friends to indicate economic directions for the future of Australia. produce what Michael Ignatieff calls moral narcissism. a sort of middle-class version of the “prolier-thanthou” attitude governed by the misty nostalgia for better days bygone. In this chapter I have resisted Macpherson’s attraction to model building with reference to the idea of a social democratic utopia. whether those of proletarian socialism (Bolshevism) or freeborn Englishpersons with or without spade husbandry (Tawney.40 The Life and Times of Social Democracy social theory will not do. literally. between moral and mechanical socialism. are past. between Morris and Bellamy. I share Macpherson’s sense that one-class models. Slumbering Hopes I conclude by returning to Macpherson and to The Life and Times of Liberal Democracy.52 Democracy is a problem as well as a “solution. however. and while these phenomena are obviously socially constructed. Owen). the slogan “the factories to the workers” misses the point that the workers may possibly not want the factories any more than the sewer workers want absolute sovereignty over their own vocational domain. Because it is sociological. other issues are involved. “Democracy” needs “responsibility. This is consistent with Bernstein’s sense that socialism has to do with norms. This is so because social democracy is simultaneously sociological and ethical. Moreover. we do need some sense of the difference between the way forward and the way back. As regards models. but they are no future.” Of course. between anarchism and bureaucracy.
this reinforces the sense that we ought to take social democracy seriously. With that. however. it opens a discourse that perhaps helps us better to see that part of our predicament today lies not in the institutions upon which we frequently blame the present impasse but in our own failure to become more fully human. Because it is ethical. even if we do not yet know what they are.53 However. Pierre Rosanvallon may be right to suggest that this project be called post–social democratic. Among other things. yet continuous—for these are still the tracks within which we work. (1990) . I accept the view—as did Bernstein and Kautsky—that new social institutions will always be necessary. it is able to address some very ordinary questions about our own existence.The Life and Times of Social Democracy 41 a sense of some of the ambivalences that characterize modernity. especially if post–social democratic means anything like “postmodern” or “postmarxist”—new.
Four The Fabian Imagination Why discuss Fabianism today? If socialism is over. but its terms of reference.3 Radicals still have their work cut out for them. if not downright unfashionable. its norms and values. when paid work is increasingly casualized and a dual labor market calls up. Socialisms are traditions. For ours is also a moment when melancholy and misery are more widespread than in recent memory. once again. and so on. creatures of tradition. 42 . subjection. the problems to which it was a response persist. and we are all. the repression of sexuality. and aesthetics.1 Ours is. Ours. will very likely again find a place in public debate as the more corrosive effects of deregulation and global development are registered.2 The present impasse of socialism is unlikely to be eternal. is a moment in world history when to speak of socialism is to risk looking distinctly dated. in short. still. of course. it is the alter ego of modernity. The traditions we call socialist emerged in response to these social problems and others concerning freedom. a moment when the old debate about continuity versus change has a much greater than academic importance. So be it. images of the underworld that holds up the world we inhabit. life in the cities. Socialism is the generic name given to these reactions to capitalism and industrialism. where peoples long for freedom and identity and struggle still in pursuit of them. locality.
6 Elsewhere I have argued that it is. centralization. One vital flag here is that of the fin de siècle. Fabianism was transformed by world history: by the wars.7 But if Marx remains an inspirational thinker.9 Fabianism arguably suffered even more. in particular.5 My sense is that socialist ideas remain a potential source of argument today because so many of the problems that were controversial then remain unresolved. But just as the various plural socialisms have been submerged by marxism. its resonances of judgment and even retribution. The sense of continuity is for me pervasive. statism. Wells in The New Machiavelli. as Sidney and Beatrice Webb in particular were subjected to ridicule by H. in one sense. for the basic provision of services in cities will remain a fundamental problem into the new millennium. but it is also a revival of fin-de-siècle enthusiasms and fears. glutinous image redolent of bureaucracy. as they long have. The Fabians. however. but also. so have the various Fabianisms been blotted into a single.4 But if the fin de siècle puts us on the precipice.The Fabian Imagination 43 The maelstrom that we feel about us also has a name: it has been encountered before and named as such. an extension of romanticism. Postmodernism is. especially. to defend Fabianism even as gas and water socialism.10 Like Social Democracy. there is also the longer cycle now upon us—the millennium itself. G. Here I want. their major works left unread. The hegemony of the Bolshevik tradition after October meant that leading social democrats such as Karl Kautsky and Eduard Bernstein were subjected to calumny. that those who do not kneel before their own claims to science are simply stupid or ignorant. by fascism and Stalinism. by its affiliation with the British Labor Party and the heroic period of welfare statism. setting a precedent rerun with cheer into the 1970s by the able staff of the New Left Review. its notions of apocalypse on a scale more civilizational than cultural.8 there are all manner of other thinkers who can now—after communism— more readily be recognized and heard. a dangerous arrogance for marxists to assume. I David Lovell correctly identifies marxism as the most apparently rigorous of all socialist claims to social scientific understanding. in the British case. . The term seems to exhibit a wonderful capacity to capture that simultaneous sense of the sublime and the terrible. They read Capital and remained unpersuaded. clearly understood marxism and rejected it.
some more given to modernization. however. with guild socialism rather than Fabianism the emblem of enthusiasm. which pioneered investigative research in the context of British sociology. D. to discover its cause is but an after amusement. There were. whereas Bernard Shaw sang praise of dictators—they did things—pulled legs about eugenics. II The core concern of this chapter. there are striking parallels between their early work—critical enthusiasms for Marx. defending the guilds but with a practical edge. however. Others. Beatrice. drew directly from William Morris and John Ruskin. Wells. and worried over leisure time and what we might do with it (his answer: be active).11 In recent times G. still has adequately to be analyzed or appraised. for his part. various Fabian imaginations. positive interest in cooperation—and across their work there are echoes . a sense of urgency in his writings: “The first thing and the greatest connected with the sin and pain on earth is to do what we can to remedy it. seeking less to return to the past than somehow to extend that residue of medieval logic into the hostile environment. more famously advocated social scientific utopias. but these were also deeply moral in motivation. in particular. Cole has been revived. H. then. Some. There is. The Webbs.”15 Though Sidney Webb is typically cast as a philistine in comparison to his scheming yet romantic wife. Sidney Webb was obsessed with what Max Weber called an ethic of responsibility: his socialism commenced from admittedly pragmatic points of reference. like the Woolfs. that mutual service ought be the norm rather than the exception in social life.13 The Fabian Women’s Group. cash nexus of the present. can be said to have embodied their images in their practices. gave great effort to thinking of the future as an extension of the present. like Cole.12 Paul Hirst has identified the pluralist stream rather than that of direct democracy as the motif worthy of extension. is not so much the different specific practical projects pursued by particular intellectuals as it is the proposition that in a post-Bolshevik world Fabian ideas still have purchase.44 The Fabian Imagination and Eastern Europe’s spreading somehow across the channel. some more romantic. Scholars such as Alan McBriar and Ian Britain have shown that Fabianism has always been a deeper and richer tradition than that.14 The probing intellectual curiosity of Leonard Woolf has still to be acknowledged. His ethics were like Émile Durkheim’s: his sense was that individuals could come to fruition only in the context of social relations.
she suggested. in that his pitch is for the importance of urban ecology. then. together and separately.16 Were the Webbs centralists. Questions of social contribution and social reward thus persist. The London Program. Sidney Webb subsequently penned a utopia. that is true. And they enthused over cooperation. Here Robert Owen was her guiding light. functional utopia. But at the same time they never identified with Lenin’s utopia in State and Revolution. they analyzed syndicalism sympathetically but viewed the interest of the producer as one social interest among others. in 1891. but especially consumer cooperatives: Beatrice Potter published her first nonchildren’s book. in 1891. Here it is worth locating their socialism not so much against Robert Owen as with William Cobbett. evidenced not least of all in the absence of Democracy from his new view. favored consumer cooperatives because they favored the view of the consumer.20 Theirs was a multiclass. but with an urban twist. ordinary social reform had an anthropological and civilizational dimension and was not merely the instrumental fantasy or will to power of the would-be Samurai caricatured by but also enthused about by Wells.18 A cooperative society.The Fabian Imagination 45 between Sidney’s early spiritualism and Beatrice’s famous premodern longings for lost community in My Apprenticeship. For Webb.17 Beatrice Potter elaborated on these claims in a paper presented at a conference of trade unionists and cooperators in 1892. Notwithstanding his own formal refusal of utopia. Here she identified the experience of the Rochdale cooperators as a microcosm of the good society. Moreover. Unionists and cooperators represented necessary and necessarily different interests in economic life—each had its proper sphere. that moment when the romantic emblems of nature intersect with problems of everyday life. For the Webbs worked with a conception of social contribution that was not narrowly economic or governed by calculations to do with GDP. The Co-operative Movement in Great Britain. but they also shared the enthusiasm of Joseph Chamberlain and others for municipal activity. There is an ecological impulse in his program that has obvious utility for radicals today. she identified Owen’s utopia as premodern in its essential characteristics. for the vital critical impulse in their work is against parasitism at both extremities of the social scale. even .19 The Webbs. then? Local stalinists in British drag? They fell badly for the image of the Soviet Union in the 1930s. was impossible: the state was obliged to organize railways and communications.
”22 III The most significant text for our purposes. democracy meant representative democracy. themselves also need constitutions. too. division of labor generated interdependence. or arguments for the good society. and there is an important intersection between the tradition of utopian speculation and the necessity of constructing the constitutions that might imaginably frame good societies. more radical Cole was obliged to concede that guilds would need some kind of representation in a council of guilds in cases of dispute or national policy. and political democracy. Even the younger. presuming their privilege as a right. functional. Reward without service was “simply—robbery. multiclass society. independence.23 though Leonard Woolf pioneered this observation. Crowley has identified a certain symmetry between this great work and their worst. This symbol of function is followed to the extent that democracy. Sidney Webb’s sense was not that the middle class was an evil historical excrescence that refused to push off but that it had a duty that it all too often failed to discharge. Yet utopias. For the Webbs. must be functionalized. and interdependence? The Webbs’ utopia is that of a differentiated. the Webbs were a little too enchanted with the idea of a constitution itself. The domination of politics by economics is evidently one of the major features of modernity. For them. the mid1930s Soviet Communism—A New Civilization. The Webbs’ particular enthusiasm was arguably less that of the lawyer and more that suggested by the semantics of constitution.25 How can we imagine the spheres of society.24 Notwithstanding their interest in structures of power. Fabianism—at least in the hands of the Webbs—rejected the labor theory of value and viewed value in broader terms of social contribution or service.46 The Fabian Imagination though they may also remain beyond resolution. . while the working class and their children expired young and without pleasure. producers’ democracy. though they were also able to accommodate some of Cole’s insistence on direct democracy. say. is the utopian frame constructed together by the Webbs in their 1920 book A Constitution for the Socialist Commonwealth of Great Britain. Thus the Webbs proposed that there be separate realms of consumers’ democracy. their interaction.26 The Webbs’ counterargument was equally obvious: such a council was indistinguishable from a parliament. however. as that notion has been revived.21 The middle classes were functionally necessary but careless. by Anthony Giddens or more creatively by Cornelius Castoriadis in his kindred notion of institution.
they thought. could be disaggregated into a separate organizational sphere addressing law and order. A separate parliament would deal with social functions. however. issues of welfare. education. but not as political units. more than the Webbs. The national parliament could thus be split into two departments within the House of Commons. diplomacy and defense. nor could these functions properly be facilitated except through departments that had distinct and particular purposes.The Fabian Imagination 47 so why not call it by its name? Cole. and so on was not essentially related to the imaginary of the Poor Laws. that musty realm where politics is identified with administration. But what happened to politics in all this? Modified by functional disaggregation. and Alfred Marshall that none of this could be expected to build character.27 In the view of the Webbs. in effect a concrete utopia: it presumes that not all citizens will or can be healthy. sane.29 The logic at work here resembles that in Beatrice Webb’s Minority Report of the Poor Law Commission. The Webbs thus suggested a formal and functional differentiation of political purposes. This is itself an extremely important document. Citizens. would be vocational rather than geographical. by comparison. and national “housekeeping. parliament could more readily become vulnerable to the power of research . partly because it anticipates the Beveridge Report but also because it is. was that other world in which the legacy of Henri de Saint-Simon lives on. effective.28 The sphere in which the Webbs finally made peace with Lenin. one to follow police and external functions. and electoral divisions. Here the Webbs shared the concern of Durkheim. The notion of undifferentiated pauperism led to unspecialized management. would be identified as members of specific occupational groups.32 Yet it still approved and provided enthusiasm for voluntary agencies and their work.31 The Poor Law regime thus generated mindless regimentation and undifferentiated order.30 The Minority Report introduced the sense that provision for health. as Pease suggested.33 Locality was viewed as the most appropriate basis upon which to proceed with the extensive process of necessary social reform. Weber.34 The clear message across the welfare writings of the Webbs is that destitution involves the loss of human potential and spirit. so to speak. Political functions. warmed to the idea of the Russian Revolution. vocational groups would galvanize professional and public identity in the workplace and the public sphere. in Cole’s conception.” following the example of the London City Council. or autonomous. the other to pursue domestic and welfare purposes.
”35 Surely the Webbs’ conception of politics would be comic were it not so dangerous.37 For the Webbs. small was sweatshop. and they failed to argue in the way we would for the centrality of markets. however. The Webbs’ approach to social policy was consistently governed by an image of the good society with which specific practices ought to be congruent. by comparison.”38 Notwithstanding the contempt of postmodernists for such grand categories.39 Like Durkheim’s project. and that not only as it exists at present. municipal and local property. reinforcing the sense that individuals were always only ever social beings. but also as it may arise in the future. The Webbs defended the image of socialism as one with a mixture of political and economic forms.48 The Fabian Imagination methods of measurement and publicity. There are significant echoes here in the work of Karl Kautsky. rethink: for these were traditions that had pushed aside the shadow of Marx and discussed many of the problems that still confront us. They were insufficiently sympathetic to notions of democratic participation. in good conscience. Their skepticism about the capacity of markets to deliver was as much a hallmark of their own times as the sense that markets rule is a hallmark of the present. Socialisms. The economy in their long view might consist of three major sectors—nationalized leading sectors. was not to be duplicated in the Webbs’ thinking about economics. already offered a storehouse of possibilities that we might now. and Democracy had its proper place. and Kautsky’s defense of democracy escalated in the face of the Bolshevik experience. there will likely remain those who choose to hope that humanity can do better even as it muddles through. with no question mark. My concern here is not to defend the manifest content of the Webbs’ utopia so much as to show the plurality evident in its logic. This fatal flaw in the constitution of politics. and cooperatives. The very idea of a national minimum was oriented to this social end. the public agenda would henceforth be set by the “searchlight of published knowledge. theirs was motivated by a sense of the importance of moral and social regulation. Surely we shall not fight. then. Soon they were to pen a study unambiguously entitled The Decay of Capitalist Civilization.” they wrote. For the Webbs it remained the case that “a constitution based exclusively on wealth production seems as lop-sided as a constitution based exclusively on wealth possession. For the Webbs imagined an economy of mixed property forms. “for any ideal smaller than Humanity itself. recycle.36 The essential difference between Kautsky and the Webbs was that for Kautsky big alone was beautiful. . rediscover.
to defend the centrality of the social if not the dominant images of socialism. To engage this future we need to know our pasts.The Fabian Imagination 49 The contemporary attack on the social and its accompanying dismissal of socialism suggest a future of increasing individualism. some of the sensibilities of these traditions may nevertheless enable us less than blindly to retread the path of the past. on occasion. to be incapable of transcending the culture within which we find ourselves. (1994) . our traditions. If we seem.
beyond ultraleftist rhetoric and head banging. and accepts.Five The Australian Left: Beyond Laborism? A decade ago it was popular to argue that the two major parties in Australia were no more different than Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee. The response on the left was euphoric. and this tendency has been strengthened during the past ten years. beyond dogmatism.1 Yet laborism has a magnetic effect on the Australian left. But there is little prospect that any of this will lead beyond laborism. Labor itself has developed in particular corporatist directions. fed on a traditional refusal among those on the Australian left to take seriously the problem of laborism. Many on the left have seized on these developments as offering a new beginning. In the Australian case as in the English. in the 1980s. if it can be so called. Laborist politics in Australia. beyond clichéd militancy. as farce. the terrain of capitalist social relations. Many on the left are now subservient to the very Labor Party they had earlier derided. This kind of thinking. returned with a vengeance. as in England. In 1972 the government of Gough Whitlam came into office. even among those who were less 50 . laborism encompasses a pragmatic politics in which the essential focus is on concrete demands of immediate advantage to the working class and organized labor. The conservative ice age was ended: this was the first federal labor government to be elected in Australia since the postwar reconstruction period. of course takes place on. This refusal has now.
a pact on prices and incomes that had been formed in 1981. this time at least in part over the question of where the action was—with the ALP or independent of it? Ironically. Having disgorged its Maoists in that year and its pro-Soviets in 1971. cut short by vice-regal intervention. so has the left around it. Ten years ago it seemed plausible enough to argue. though clearly much has also changed. as the mark has shifted. however. Political discourse in Australia. The Hawke government was elected on the basis of the Australian Labor Party (ALP)–Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Accord.The Australian Left 51 than enthusiastic at the prospect of what came to be called “technocratic laborism. that the Australian left and indeed the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) were shaping up for a great future. in and around the Labor Party. then. The Whitlam experience was. modernize the polity. the left was now forced to reevaluate its often cavalier detachment from the world of labor politics. then. as Winton Higgins did in the Socialist Register 1974. the CPA split again in 1984.” The common argument on the extra–labor left was that this government had effectively been summoned by capital to do its bidding. Many on the left have enthusiastically embraced this new situation as one offering great potential for change in a socialist direction. has shifted right. the difference now being that the ALP is given a more central place in this “coalition. to do what the conservatives had been unable to do: to rationalize the economy. much of the left had thus returned to its historic home. their political positions have been structured by the dominance of laborism across these years. and regulate and control the union movement. as elsewhere. By the time the conservative government of Malcolm Fraser was ousted by the government of Robert Hawke in 1983. those who railed bitterly against technocratic laborism under Whitlam are now busily embracing its corporatist extension in the Hawke regime. The Labor Party and laborism itself have long provided the central focus for the Australian left.” Some points of continuity emerge. Others who were arguing for a coalition of the left in the 1970s have not changed their tune. it has just experienced its third major split since 1963. Guilt produced by an earlier abstentionism seems to have resulted in an overwhelming desire to be where the action is. The Labor Party has since changed. Yet socialist politics in Australia seems thereby to have become ultimately little more than defensive of laborist tenets. and the left has . many leftists had shifted their perspectives to the extent that they were prepared to become willing servants of this labor movement. Today the influence of the Communist Party is at an ebb.
The atmosphere of incompetence and sundry scandals surrounding the Whitlam government. too fast. The experience left indelible marks on many in the ALP. It introduced a major social reform in Medibank. Sir John Kerr. or perhaps already has. the problem is rather even to achieve laborism in order to surpass it. For although the record suggests that many of labor’s victories in Australia have been pyrrhic. The Context: Australian Politics Shifts Right The aura of reform still adheres to the Whitlam years. This chapter begins to survey some of these problems. it had a European ambiance in the sense that its policies and image were urbane. passed from laborism to social democracy. Although no real social contracts of any substance were negotiated between the ALP and the ACTU in these years. In this context the question to be asked of Australian socialism is whether it can indeed pass beyond laborism. Others might argue that in these times. a compulsory and universal national health insurance scheme. however interpreted. the Whitlam government did seek control over prices and incomes through referenda that were unsuccessful. and it specifically encouraged the public service to be a pacesetter in wage levels. circumvented the problem by precipitating a constitutional crisis. it seemed to confirm the popular slogan of the time that they had gone “too far. the leader of the Liberal Party. resulted in Whitlam’s final defeat at the polls. Some would argue that it can.52 The Australian Left followed this shift. by Australian standards. The first refusal in 1974 prompted a double dissolution of Parliament and a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament that momentarily overcame the Liberal program of obstructionism. sacking Whitlam and his government and installing Fraser.” . expansionist in economic policy. Whitlam’s government had some striking motifs: it had a cosmopolitan disposition. the governor general. laborism still dominates political life for those who are committed to the struggle for socialism. meritocratic in social policy. or even fulfil its aims. It encouraged the growth of the welfare state. together with the conservative conspiracy to eject it from office. Unemployment rather than inflation was now regarded as the primary problem facing the Australian economy. the containment of prices rather than labor costs was seen as the policy priority in the early Whitlam years. as caretaker prime minister pending a yet further election. in 1975. On the second occasion. This program of gentle reform was disrupted not once but twice by conservative refusals to pass labor’s supply bills in the Senate (a prerogative peculiar to the Australian rendition of Westminster).
the party conducted a postmortem of its second defeat in eight years. The unceremonious dumping of Hayden in favor of the charismatic leader was symptomatic of the growing importance of electoralism in the party. eroding Medibank. and it introduced punitive industrial relations legislation. had in the meantime entered Parliament and replaced Bill Hayden as leader of the labor opposition. The Whitlam government had made some preliminary gestures in the direction of gradualist reform at the very moment when the present economic crisis was making its first real effects felt. if unevenly: it established a Razor Gang to extend further spending cuts. the Whitlam period was the closest Australia had come to an experience like that of 1945 in England. Hawke had for some time possessed an image of national reconciliation and consensus.5 His populist credentials stood him in good stead: he led the ALP back into office in 1983. coming to the conclusion that they had not been sufficiently conservative.The Australian Left 53 Since the dismissal some on the left have produced a kind of mythology around these events and its central labor characters. Its program of cuts. it highlighted labor costs over price increases. look back on the period with moist eyes. and not only because of its hostility to viceregal relics like Kerr or haughty graziers like Fraser. This was indeed a judgment well based. as being superior to the forces of Australian conservatism. the symbolic core of the Whitlam era. . as Xavier Herbert put it in less nostalgic prose. after all.3 The Fraser government substantiated this shift. The representatives of technocratic labor emerged. The extra– party left shared this distress. that its last budget had already initiated the process of spending cuts to be extended by the incoming Fraser government ought to have been edifying for the left. it elevated the issue of inflation as the most urgent policy priority.4 Bob Hawke. The report of the Commission of Inquiry. the Whitlam project thus accentuated the fiscal crisis of the Australian state. It restored the status quo ante in social policy. such as Patrick White and Manning Clark. was less radical in some sectors than parts of the left may have imagined. as Peter Wilenski has argued. even arguments for a general strike. there were mass demonstrations. the parallel with Thatcherism here was more rhetorical than real. Fraser stepped down as leader of the Liberal Party. former leader of the ACTU. the events had proved what bastards Australians really were. prompting the slide away from Keynesianism toward monetarism in economic policy. Certainly the Whitlam experience was something less than flawless. however.2 Certainly some Labor supporters.
The bipartisan commitment to Keynesianism characteristic of the postwar period has been decisively rejected. and taken the broader left with it. Labor Shifts Right: The Hawke Era Whereas the imagery drawn on by Whitlam was Fabian or social democratic in nature.54 The Australian Left Facing the Future. garnished with the ideology of consensus.6 The Liberal opposition since has developed a policy advocating further cuts in government spending. argued that the liberals had a credibility problem: they spoke the language of monetarism. the Accord itself offers new and real possibilities for socialist politics. however. has seen the election of the Hawke government on the basis of the Accord as representing a new beginning. Hawke’s identity draws more on images of the laborist past. But labor has also shifted right. though it has in fact functioned in such a way as to actually . Herbert C. John Howard. the Hawke government has been stealing its thunder. a leader of the Liberal “dries. The Liberal Party. as it allegedly does. cuts in real wages. The left. has argued that the parallel is concocted. The argument over the Accord is essentially one about potential.8 while Rob Watts has shown that even this reformism was somewhat less than thoroughly committed to principles such as equity.” has been obliged to express a begrudging admiration for the achievements of Hawke’s treasurer. that Curtin was a real reformer. then. The solution was self-evident—Liberal policy had to be more consistently aligned with its conservative or reactionary rhetoric. so that the shadow treasurer. thus the spectacle in which marxists. formalizing. many leftists would argue that although the Hawke government is up to the same old tricks. for example. Paul Keating. In particular. Labor leader during the war. Coombs. large-scale privatization. in any case. has clearly moved to the right and has expressed its wish to move further in that direction in the near future.7 The choice of association is less than apposite.9 The Curtin government operated very much within the field established by “new liberalism. Hawke claims an affinity with John Curtin. but the policy basis of their practice was insufficiently different from that of Labor.”10 and this in itself would seem to be suggestive of the distance between Hawke and Curtin. the rights of unions in political decision-making processes. in Australia as elsewhere. At the same time. and so on. have become Keynesians.11 opening new opportunities. The Accord is essentially a deal regarding incomes and prices in conception.
The most significant arguments here relate to the provisions in the Accord . the Accord issues merely a pretentiously titled list of “mechanics of implementation” that reduces to the construction of an Economic Planning Advisory Council (EPAC) and a Prices Surveillance Authority and a commitment to extending the current information base. unsecured by mechanisms that might guarantee its implementation. and a maximum program. manifest in its claim that poverty can be abolished13 (via mechanisms unseen. contains at least three largely independent subtexts—a bottom line. and it is this that explains the diversity of argument over the question of its potential. concerning wages. in comparison. then. Yet the fact that the Accord contains other claims and projections allows some socialists to argue that this is a deal to which the labor leadership can be held. for example. vitiating this bottom line in its conception of the objective of full employment as a long-term goal. involving claims such as that regarding the abolition of poverty. The introduction to the Accord. and not only in its minimum requirements. it has been the lowest common denominator—the incomes-and-prices deal—that has become the effective reality of the Accord. A further problem emerges: the different subtexts of the Accord bear no necessary relation to each other and are written in without guarantee. offers a rather more ambitious project. an intermediate level. The document called the Accord. The Accord also claims to address the question of equity. addressing issues such as taxation and health and safety. to all men (women still do not register much on the instruments of laborist politics).15 In terms of practical results. the Accord’s proposition to restructure taxation progressively and to shift away from indirect taxation. The pragmatic subtext of the Accord rests on its bottom line. the Accord is a masterpiece of ambiguity: it offers all things.12 The most ambitious subtext of the Accord is yet more ethereal. Rather than specifying conditions of interrelation between these programmatic levels. floats freely in the text. a clause clearly inserted at the behest of the ACTU. which leaves the question of income distribution and relativities untouched. As a political document. the implicit and mistaken presupposition is presumably that poverty and unemployment are coextensive). effectively. The Accord is a document that facilitates several quite distinct interpretations. All these claims are constructed within one central project: economic recovery.The Australian Left 55 involve wage restraint in exchange for tax cuts and social wage increases. a commitment to centralized indexation.14 yet this problem is clearly beyond the scope of a wages deal based on indexation.
prices and incomes. was represented at the summit. its object. Lower-paid public servants have highlighted the internal contradictions within the Accord by arguing for increases outside indexation in order to maintain the parity between the public and private sectors that the Accord also claims to provide. Some stronger unions—for example. and the size of the deficit.56 The Australian Left for industry development policy and long-range planning arrangements. such as those representing the food preservers and the furnishing trades.18 This is so partly because of the very nature of corporatist or tripartite arrangements. Treasurer Keating. to soothe away the . those in oil and in construction— have managed to make deals outside of indexation. but its voice was ignored. The simple point is that such radical potential as might arguably exist within the Accord has not been realized. as we are frequently told. speaking immediately after Bruce McKenzie. for example. The summit brought together a massive cast of representatives from the three major power blocs in Australian society— business. while smaller unions.17 The summit finally culminated in the issuing of a communiqué that consolidated the Accord by securing the post facto consent of business to its basic proposals. this incomes-and-prices deal between the ALP and the ACTU. have been bludgeoned into accepting its limits. its pleas for recognition of the pressing needs of those who were suffering most in society fell on deaf ears. and government—as well as a smattering of others who spoke from positions less powerful and influential. The Hawke government has seen this general pattern of events as accurately representing the potential of the Accord. Welfare. This is one crucial source of debate on the Australian Left.16 The central motif of the Accord—that economic recovery could best be facilitated by an incomes-and-prices deal— now emerged again as the central motif of the summit. The summit was a brilliantly orchestrated and televised public relations coup that effectively developed the Accord into the basis of a tripartite deal by extracting capital’s consent to the arrangement. The net effect of the Accord has been that profits have been increased while the wages of better-placed workers have been more or less maintained via indexation. labor. was broadened into a de facto tripartite deal at the National Economic Summit held in April 1983. the welfare representative. set the agenda for the summit by returning the focus to the real issues— the relationship between business and unions. is to bring Australians together. which have been picked up both by major unions like the Metalworkers and enthused over by left labor academics. The Accord. which I shall return to later.
The Hawke government has actually initiated policies of economic deregulation the likes of which Fraser had only contemplated: it has deregulated the banking system. and it has privileged the private school system over the public. it has funded it in an anything but adequate way. It has used Labor’s own 1984 National Conference in order to override branchlevel opposition to uranium mining and to further marginalize the left within the ALP (though some would argue that the left’s marginality is self-inflicted). substantiating the worst fears that there is now to be an authorized representative of the public interest—the Hawke government—that .”20 Meanwhile. and it is driving those who can afford not to queue into the arms of the private insurers. It has systematically avoided addressing the fact that at least three million of the fifteen million Australians live in poverty or on benefits. that Australia’s economic path is leading toward “third worldization. the Hawke government has been revealed to have a foreign policy well to the right of those of previous Labor governments21 and has drawn little substantial inspiration from the policies of its sibling in New Zealand. It has at this same conference formally shifted its own economic platform further to the right. While it has established Medicare. it has refused to actually restructure the health care system or to confront the power of the Australian Medical Association. It has developed an obsession with the size of the government deficit and with being seen to please business. both of the monetary kind and of the political kind. Both Hawke and Treasurer Keating have publicly tongue lashed welfare lobbyists who have sought to draw public attention to these issues. it has also floated the dollar. The Accord has been implemented within a process that has seen the consolidation of the right-wing economic program foreshadowed but barely enacted by the Fraser government. and other non–business interest groups (this was one occasion on which the union movement argued that preferred Labor policy would jeopardize the Accord). the unions.22 It has argued for the reintroduction of the tertiary education fees abolished by Whitlam. It has argued very forcefully for retrogressive changes in the taxation system and has moderated these arguments only in the face of overwhelming opposition from the labor state governments. the child of Medibank.23 It has reneged on its somewhat less than radical proposal to increase welfare benefits to 25 percent of average weekly earnings. contrary to Labor policy.19 prompting speculation.The Australian Left 57 contradictions of class relations and difference (at the expense of those excluded from its arrangements). allowing foreign banks into the domestic economy.
was dominated by old socialists whose views were often indistinguishable from those of older communists and whose influence rarely extended into the Parliamentary Labor Party. for the laborist tradition still dominates left labor thinking today. in principle.24 Such analogies are bent: the problems are different. They now have cabinet representatives in state Labor governments like John Cain’s in Victoria but remain more marginal within the federal government.27 These responses in different ways raise questions about what laborism in Australia traditionally has stood for and what it means today. The problem is essentially the same one. the most radical faction. arguing typically in terms of the “potential” of the Accord. They had a clearer set of policy priorities over questions in the Middle East than within Australia.58 The Australian Left cannot. be disagreed with.28 Like those who remain in the CPA. New blood within the socialist left has produced a fairly dramatic change over the past two years. eventually to form the Socialist Forum. Some left Labor politicians have argued that the Accord could function even as an Alternative Economic Strategy (AES) of sorts. younger socialist leftists are less given to Stalinoid dogmatism and more predisposed to technocracy. This Caesarist touch has prompted some to draw analogies between the regimes and personalities of Mussolini and Hawke.25 But these are issues that have barely been registered by those on the Australian left. The Left Shifts Right or Consolidates How could the left draw inspiration from any of this? The answer can best be rendered in terms of arguments about the potential embodied in Labor governments in general and in the Accord in particular. Different parts of the ALP have of course struck up rather different positions over the question of socialism and labor. the members of the new socialist left are given to supporting the Accord and simultaneously arguing for the extension of welfare. many of whom have fallen into either celebratory or antagonistic positions on fairly predictable grounds. the socialist left. Until recently. it is now generally conceded that their arguments helped establish the irrelevance of socialism in Australia. But their views hold relatively little sway within the inner sanctums. and contemporary arguments about corporatism throw more light on them than such fanciful parallels. as has that part of the CPA that split off in 1984. .26 at the same time. other Labor politicians have argued that the present government would do best to return to the socialist tradition within laborism. The left within the ALP has drifted with this tide. These newer.
apparently). like Bob Connell within the party and Agnes Heller from outside it.36 . the argument indicates the fundamentally populist nature of labor thinking in Australia. insist that democratic socialism is a more powerful nomenclature. Some unreformed reformists within the party argue that Labor ought to see itself as social democratic.” that the old connotations can still be sloughed off and social democratic intentions adhered to. its guiding theoretical “conscience.35 Others. the arguments that have been put forth in this direction are reminiscent of Hugh Gaitskell’s. indeed that socialism ought best be canvased as radicalized democracy. this is the terminology used by the center left of the party in its odd ideological moments.33 While socialists like Heller have made much of the idea that socialist arguments must be democratic. more concerned with maintaining socialist credentials. Given the dominance of the laborist tradition in Australia. and argue that the Whitlam experience can best be understood in this light. attempts have been made to dilute the objective yet further.” has now mobilized in the newly formed center left faction. Since 1921 the socialist objective has been qualified by the rider that socialization was appropriate only where necessary to prevent exploitation or the antisocial use of the instruments of production. in the Bad Godesberg sense. the result of bad will on the part of evil men. have put forth stronger cases for the maintenance of a socialist identity.29 which claims to function as a moderator between the left and Hawke’s power base in the right (largely to the latter’s advantage. for the primary motivation is that even “socialist” rhetoric is an electoral liability.32 Some party socialists merely negate this case. debate about Labor’s socialist objective. it would seem reasonable to expect that it has been the gradualist politics of social justice that has held the theoretical roost.31 This imprecision notwithstanding. The hegemony of this position can be detected in the ongoing. if somewhat less than enthusiastic.34 other defenders of socialism have often tended to manipulate murkier arguments about an allegedly strong distinction between the social democratic tradition and that of democratic socialism. with the caveat that the process of transition “of course” involves more than that.30 Clearly the presupposition here is that exploitation is accidental to capitalist production. other socialists. that language can easily be “modernized.The Australian Left 59 The centrist or Fabian current in the ALP. The ALP’s formal commitment to the socialist objective has never been as forthright as that in Clause Four of the British Labor Party’s Constitution. The argument reduces to the proposal for parliamentary socialism.
the result is again either posturing and irrelevant or pragmatic and ill considered. Yet given the ineffectiveness of marginal politics in Australia and the hegemony of laborism. for apart from an early entente with Antonio Gramsci the CPA was not oversupplied with the theory that was gripping European intellectuals. reflecting its fundamental ambivalence toward laborism: we need the Labor Party. if unwittingly. is light years away from present government concerns. is the difference between the Labor Party and labor governments. Frontism is a strong current in its history. but it spurns us yet. and when it is used it is often inauthentic. the enthusiasm for Althusserian marxism among the young revolutionaries who came to the Communist Party in the early 1970s. be well disposed to union-led initiatives in the direction of socialism. has little to do with Labor practice.38 It is this situation that has in the past led Australian socialists into “independent” left parties like the Communist Party.60 The Australian Left The language of socialism. for example. The will to socialism does not inhere in the ALP. for despite its occasional fits of sectarianism. The Althusserians arrived from the desert. arguing. so to speak. so it could easily be argued that the . and they were armed with theory. it has often tended to function as though it were the left wing of the Labor Party. oft avoided. we support it. at the very least. And when it comes to a socialist program rather than a socialist objective. The fundamental issue here. indeed popular frontism and social fascism are expressive of its two basic moods.39 This was the period before the recognition that there was a crisis in marxism. Winton Higgins has indicated. that the Accord could somehow lead forward to socialism. yet those who argue for the Accord as an AES-type strategy must ultimately presume that Labor can become a vehicle for a committed leftwing parliamentary majority with such a will and an appropriately revolutionary policy package. yet it betrays us. Socialist argument within the ALP is typically rhetorical and usually private. even as it stands. but the record of labor governments suggests a different story. however contrived. The Communist Party is probably the best example here.37 Yet people persist in expecting great and indeed socialist things of the ALP. The socialist objective. In some ways their arrival was timely. It may be possible to argue that the Labor Party is wedded to some conception of socialism. the smaller left parties have always been to some degree structured by laborism. And yet those who enthuse over the socialist potential of the Accord always seem ultimately to presume that labor governments will.
that the period of “ultraleftism” was so fulsome that the CPA’s 1974 Congress political document used the words revolution and revolutionary no fewer than fifty-four times in nine pages. culminating in the identification of marxism with Althusser and prompting. It was the Eurocommunist element in Althusserianism that took seed. for example. however. these arguments. in the1980s.43 What Higgins’s case overlooked—and the point is of course made easily in hindsight—was that outside radical intellectual circles. however. were read through the frontist grid that was necessarily laborist. then. and involution.41 In his Socialist Register essay. again. It followed that an immense theoretical revolution was a necessary prerequisite to good practice. for it complemented an ongoing tradition. particularly after the defeat of Whitlam. This is not the place to offer a general assessment of the effect of Althusser in Australia. were assimilated into the existing communist wisdom of frontism. The “coalition of the Left” policy developed in the late 1960s may have fed on radical sources. on the Labor Party. the role of vanguard would fall by default into the lap of the Labor Party. disappearance into Francophilic antimarxism.42 to the extent of suggesting general CPA leadership sympathy with these arguments. its revolutionary element found no ground. the new arguments. for example. regardless of their own potential. had directed much of his energy against the frontist tradition was of no import within the rank and file of the Communist Party. Thus.44 Within the CPA. Higgins radically overstated the impact of Althusserian marxism. central figures in the Melbourne leadership were making much ado about Friedrich Engels’s aside concerning the obsolescence . The change can indeed be seen in its rhetoric. if accepted at all.The Australian Left 61 theory-practice relation had lain undeveloped because of an absence of good theory. but it came to depend ultimately. The fact that Nicos Poulantzas. The reception of André Gorz’s “revolutionary reforms” and Stuart Holland’s AEStype strategy likewise needs to be located in this context. the revolutionary rhetoric of the late 1960s and early 1970s has finally given way to a sensible pragmatism. that some young marxists around the journal Intervention put Althusser to good use in developing a political economy of Australian capitalism. John Sendy has observed. for example. sclerosis. suffice it to say that the results were mixed.40 while elsewhere the effect was foreclosure. major communist unionists such as Laurie Carmichael could enthuse about Holland’s arguments knowing but not acknowledging that in the absence of a vital Communist Party in Australia.45 Even during this period.
simultaneously publish feminist antimarxism in Australian Left Review50 and punctuate the letters columns of its weekly Tribune with complaints from its pro-Soviet elders.49 What all this seems to suggest is that the dispute between the CPA and those who departed reduces to the terms and conditions of fellow-traveling with the Labor Party. Unfortunately the animosities between those who left and those who have stayed in the CPA seem to be sufficient to prevent a debate of the kind that has occurred in Britain in. what is surprising about the 1984 split is that these liquidationist tendencies took so long to surface. The CPA’s equivalent. the associations again being traditional rather than innovative. on occasions at least. combining new-look graphics and sometimes punky arguments with the views of old-timers. twenty-three leading members of the Victorian CPA announced their collective departure. its new hegemony has been achieved largely . Although the CPA remains committed to an alliance of independents. for example. Australian Left Review. The CPA can. it is now very likely the case that democracy is the magic word. and over Marxism Today. The forum’s Statement of Identity could be said to read like an argument for social democratic agitprop. though it also suggests an openness that has not generally characterized the communist tradition in the past. for the “prospects for socialism” debate canvased within the party since 1982 had already produced strong arguments for liquidation of the party. those who now form the Socialist Forum eschew independent party forms and policy and avoid the proscription clause of the ALP by refusing themselves party identity.47 Eurocommunist arguments were well received in this environment. has become. indicates a general commitment to the idea of a new socialist party.46 The argument was drifting toward social democracy. because they facilitated this process of pragmatizing socialism. Towards Socialist Renewal in Australia.62 The Australian Left of barricades in order to promote the cause of parliamentary socialism.48 Some who stayed within the CPA clearly saw the split as premature. The forum’s generalized endorsement of the Accord is suggestive of something else. Leading communists in Melbourne had been heading in this direction at least since the early 1970s. particularly in Melbourne. at least partially in response to what they viewed as abstentionist tendencies over developments like the Accord. or at least self-contradictory. viewed retrospectively. so pluralist as to be almost meaningless. In April 1984. side by side. if in the traditional sense. The most recent communist manifesto. Although today feminism has a strength and attraction that marxism cannot rival. around.
some of these arguments have been derivative in a crippling way. can be witnessed the limits of a process of returning to local traditions. say. for example. . with some irony. Clearly the arguments advanced in Marxism Today have a strong attraction for younger sections of the Communist Party. Some attempts have also been made to stimulate argument on the left by highlighting ongoing debates in England. While the members of the Sydney CPA have produced usefully temporal arguments about the reform of the taxation system51 and argued that the Accord itself needs reforming. Those whose memories reach back this far could also observe that the Socialist Forum is a kind of second coming and wonder whether the new forum might follow the direction of its namesake. that these arguments about a marvelous socialist Melbourne not only seem to reflect classical utopian views but also retread the path of local communist utopianism. as though Hawke were not. The specific differences between Britain and Australia are here eclipsed. is John Callaghan. had already anticipated a socialist Melbourne in a 1951 CPA pamphlet. Clearly the dates needed adjusting. argues in effect that Australian problems are English problems. while Labor’s Keating somehow remains immune. Ralph Gibson. the arguments raging in Britain are applied mechanically rather than creatively.54 Here.55 The argument is that Margaret Thatcher is novel. class and social movements. Unfortunately. on this view. Hawke. The Accord is dealt with only in terms of its allegedly socialist potential. however. as a major concern. as though the ALP leadership has been unaffected by such tendencies.56 The liberal shadow treasurer is castigated for free market rhetoric. In the document Socialism in Australia: Toward Renewal? a dossier including Australian communist arguments and those of Stuart Hall and Beatrix Campbell. once more eludes scrutiny. into the mainstream of the Labor Party. The specific nature of laborism. David McKnight. While drawing attention to some very real problems facing the Australian left—such as the growth of social movements largely outside the left—McKnight argues as though the real problem centers on developing “Thatcherist” tendencies in the Liberal Party. Debates over strategy or policy have thus barely begun within the Australian Left Review. indeed. for example. or recalling the ghosts of the Australian past.The Australian Left 63 through displacement rather than an open exchange of ideas about.52 the Socialist Alternative Melbourne Collective associated with the Melbourne CP has furthered debate by producing a pamphlet on Socialist Melbourne as it could be in 2000 CE.53 It can be observed. then.
one that is entirely compatible with the populist and Fabian traditions. sects like the Spartacists of course vehemently oppose laborism.64 The Australian Left Beyond the mainstream left. in Australia as elsewhere. the two are united in their pro-Sovietism.63 It is of course quite possible to be allied to Sovietism and laborism at the same time. simultaneously. This remains a major limit on the peace movement in Australia. which they of course offer to lead. the stock positions are merely struck up.65 It seems to be reflective of a residual Sovietism in terms of images of the future. where its centrism helped to precipitate a major split within the newly founded Nuclear Disarmament Party.57 The International Socialists.60 This collaboration itself raises controversial issues about the precise relationship between Stalinism and Trotskyism. at least. relies on catastrophist economics and exclusivist dialectics for its mass appeal. now in tandem. lacking the strength of their British counterparts. that the Soviet Union was “socialist based. Yet. are still waiting for world revolution to beat a path to their door.61 The SWP’s pro-Sovietism has also been manifest in its role in the peace movement. to the barricades.59 More significant but still peripheral parties like the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and the pro-Moscow Socialist Party of Australia have struck up an unprecedented alliance against the Accord: they have swum through the proverbial river of blood separating Stalinists from Trotskyists to clasp hands. but there is no real debate over the nature or lessons of the experience of Soviet-type societies. these newfound allies in the SPA and the SWP have together argued that the Accord is to be understood in traditional terms as a capitalist attack on the workingclass movement. both parties must still acknowledge the centrality of the ALP. arguing simultaneously that the Accord can have a minimum function of preventing further ALP leadership perfidy . midstream. as they do. In the mid-1970s arguments within the CPA had divided the party. against class collaborationism. rather.64 Today there seems to be an unstated consensus that Eastern Europe functions as bad publicity for the left.” while those allied with Intervention had argued for the “transitional” category in the manner of Ernest Mandel. it is clear that on this occasion.58 The Socialist Labor League. most unions and indeed the ACTU are locked into the Accord. The question of the status of the Soviet Union remains largely undebated on the left. with some like Eric Aarons arguing a position similar to that of Isaac Deutscher.62 In any case. The trade union movement remains closely allied to leftist laborism and communism. With the exception of a few unions allied with the SWPSPA or with the remnants of Maoism.
business. Nixon Apple’s introduction to the plan then clarifies its basis in the ideology of endless growth. which in turn produces increased employment. especially with reference to saving jobs via the development of industry policy. second. the logic of economic recovery being one in which. the third step in the process would involve the withdrawal of government support from successful firms and the reallocation of resources to the next set of industries selected for development. In the absence of a vigorous labor government. first. . first. in any case. Laurie Carmichael argues that full employment can be restored through. Full employment is not problematized as full (male breadwinner) employment. and tripartite decision making.68 as the essential motor here is the “trickle-down” economics of reluctant collectivism. it has simultaneously inspired outsiders but has achieved no substantial results in its own terms. laborism in Australia remains largely inert. As with the Accord. for export. which produces decreased inequality. Traditionally militant unions like the Metal Trades Unions have taken on and developed the notion of industry development policy from the Accord in their document Policy for Industry Development and More Jobs. policies like those articulated by the Metal Trades Unions have been identified as a focal point for intervention. The Metal Trades Unions plan is an impressive indicator of the union shift away from the old combination of revolutionary rhetoric and wagesand-conditions militancy. in a sense like the Lucas Combine Plan.66 In the foreword to the Metal Trades Unions plan. Sweden also seems to attract more admiration outside its own boundaries. nominated industries would be developed for local consumption. It arguably provides a policy for economic recovery. effective industry strategies including modernization.The Australian Left 65 and a maximum function of opening new possibilities. industries would be developed. structured on the logical chain that industry policies produce growth. In Australia. despite these policy initiatives. Problems like poverty and welfare are given summary treatment. sequentially.69 and it seems to be the case that this view is rather closer to that of the present government. feminists could readily make the charge that the proposal is one of jobs for the boys. expansion via increased exports.67 The logic at work in the plan itself is Keynesian and masculinist. second. Perhaps there is a pattern here. and third. a program of expansionary macroeconomic strategies. a program of redistribution of tax and wealth. and. neither would seem likely to have any visible impact on the socialist agenda. Yet. which Australian capital itself has sought but been unable to achieve. has offered a rather less interventionist view of industry policy.
So much of the left is complicit in the Accord that it seems unable to argue reasonably over its nature. Clegg. associated with the journal Thesis Eleven. such as the claim to participate in the planning process. Geoff Dow. argued for. and Winton Higgins. in a sense. Dow. have argued that recent developments not only foreclose the possibilities for socialism in Australia but must also serve to foreclose the scope of discourse about the future of socialism. Yet the left’s complicity ultimately seems to be more awkward than this. that the Accord is better than nothing. They argue that a robust capitalist economy with high growth rates and high standards of living is incompatible with capitalist social relations.72 Clegg et al. and so on. Displacement of decision-making procedures to tripartite bodies is therefore potentially progressive: trade union energies can thus be progressively channeled into political unionism. facilitating the process of democratic class struggle. is the question of whether Sweden offers a possible road to socialism in Australia. What this has meant is that such debate as has occurred has taken place between academics on the left. and Boreham argue that corporatist arrangements facilitate socialist development by allowing union politics to shift generally economic interests to specifically political ones. have argued that the Accord offers new directions for socialists. particularly in the direction of what they call political trade unionism. and sometimes is. The central source of dispute here. Two broad positions have emerged in the debate over corporatism in Australia. as the Australasian Spartacist observed. like Stewart Clegg. Paul Boreham. thus argue with Walter Korpi73 and with Higgins and Apple74 that the class representation . relatively little such debate has occurred within or between groups on the left. the CPA is likely to be less than critical of an arrangement that it helped plan.70 while other groups. And the argument can always be put forth. there is no shortage of ALP members who are privately critical of the Accord and what it symbolizes but who cannot speak out for fear of being construed as antilabor.71 Similarly. and defended against opponents on the right. Obviously people are likely to be defensive of a project they have sponsored. Some. such as the Political Economy Movement.66 The Australian Left Arguments over the Accord and Corporatism All these developments have served to elicit theoretical debate over corporatism and the future of socialism. Regrettably. have also acknowledged the difficulty of critically assessing proposals that they have played no small part in forming. that a system of ongoing wage indexation must be more reliable than an erratic mess of collective bargaining arrangements. others.
his arguments in defense of political trade unionism are less explicitly related to the Australian situation.The Australian Left 67 of labor and capital is necessary both for economic recovery and for the transition to socialism: the premise is that recovery can be managed in such a way as to shift power decisively to the working people and their families. and then to educate “public opinion” and win it around. for their case. in the Australian case. alike. including those who are excluded from the labor-capital relationship. can in a sense be turned against themselves. in common. Higgins puts forth a very strong case for the view that the real potential of Accord-type arrangements is that they provide openings for outside voices in the development of industry policy. to win more votes. is that the EPAC can open up the hitherto privatized decision-making processes of capital. they effectively shift primary political responsibility for social change onto the shoulders of the trade union movement. then. indeed that tripartite mechanisms like the EPAC can benefit all. the extraparty left can help push it further.78 . Clegg et al. Theoretically. then. the Labor Party has been trapped for too long in laborism.75 Higgins has argued a similar position. acknowledge the poverty of parliamentary socialism. The way forward for socialists is to produce more concrete and credible—and therefore radical—policies to deal with immediate electoral problems. His is a pragmatism of a sensible rather than sniveling sort: the argument is that historically the left in Australia has always lost the credibility stakes because it has too often fallen victim to the temptation of empty sloganizing when it could have been developing an independent alternative policy of its own. not into becoming a socialist party but into becoming a party with some credible socialist policies. As Higgins puts it. is that political trade unionism can allow the left ultimately to pass through laborism and enter a social democratic phase.77 The essential proposal.76 Higgins and Clegg et al. John Maynard Keynes and Michal Kalecki are summoned here as approving authorities. Social contracts. argue that. though in a more cautious manner. the important point. The process of democratic class struggle can allow unions to use tripartite mechanisms to prevent the losses inflicted on them by previous social contracts. a “war of position” can be waged from within the bastions of bourgeois society. these principles or possibilities are obscured by the rhetoric of consensus. even if they do not know it. in the Swedish rather than the German sense. though the argument remains Swedish inasmuch as it presumes an at least well-disposed leftist government.
with the aim of developing an administrative consensus over resource allocation. As Triado argues.82 consequently.83 Some have argued as though the use of the category corporatism is itself a device of foreclosure.81 experiences like the New South Wales Builders Laborers’ foray into ecological politics in the 1970s are the exception to the laborist norm. rather.79 In this way. trade unions in Australia have been immersed in the culture of laborism. It is also to ask that arguments for alternative policy be viewed within the real constraints that surround them. is something less than favorable: business is not yet a force for socialism. corporatism has no socialist telos. for these critics. but trade unions cannot reasonably be expected to function as political vanguards. that the problem with corporatist arrangements is that they represent producer groups at the expense of the citizenship principle. the Accord necessarily results in the political exclusion and disenfranchisement of those who are already economically powerless. As Stephen Frenkel and Alice Coolican have shown. industry restructuring. its politics are those of laborism. it is unreasonable to expect Australian unions simply to break out of this mold and emerge as fluent speakers of Swedish. the rhetoric of consensus is no mere tactical accretion on corporatism but is rather a significant part of its baggage. trade union militancy in Australia has no specifically political base. and neither is the Hawke government. and so on within an overriding conception of the “national interest. It can reasonably be expected. it emerges as a form of crisis management. then.”80 Inasmuch as it involves the incorporation of dominant class interests or interest groups. On this view. for while unionism in Australia is political. investment planning. the limited strategic potential of which reflects the general balance of social forces.68 The Australian Left Robert Watts and I have contested this case and its practical logic in defending the Accord. the novelty of corporatism is that it furnishes the institutional means to mediate the demands of functional interest groups in capitalist society. The general balance of forces. Historically. We pick up the argument of Julian Triado. This is not to say that we ought not to hope for better but rather to ask for realistic hopes. As Triado observes. that the Australian labor movement will be somewhat selective in what it partakes of from this smorgasbord. that others wish to sidestep the nature of the . consequently. it is worrying that corporatism has elicited so little debate on the Australian left. but they cannot be presumed to have universally beneficial effects. given its pertinence to recent events. tripartite arrangements may be held to benefit those who actually enter into them.
not even among themselves. Laborism and the Impasse of the Left Into the eighties.84 The major arguments outlined earlier would seem to suggest the contrary—that the problem remains to explain the nature of recent developments and their potential. has largely left behind its Soviet and Chinese residues. because of internal failures. it ought also be acknowledged that this has been achieved at a high cost: the dependence on imported overseas arguments has been transcended at the cost of finally declaring the CPA’s faustian pact with laborism in Australia. for these arrangements not only disenfranchise the powerless but also effectively silence parts of the left involved in their formation and threaten to vaporize their critics. is that debate has not progressed far because those politically or organizationally close to the Accord do not really want to talk about it.86 has . which historically has vacillated between foreign inspirations and local sources. the search for the holy grail continued. Most of the left seems. but. If it can be argued that the CPA and the Socialist Forum have now returned. This is the sense in which critics of corporatism would advance the view that rather than repoliticizing social arrangements. The Communist Party. for example. which has always been derivative. the vicissitudes of CPA history were largely due to the fact that it thought the Russian Revolution was entirely relevant to Australian history—but it was not. Australian Trotskyism. to an Australian orbit. No longer. more or less. through the via Italiana drawing closer to the laborist tradition itself. to have bought into the “politics” of consensus.The Australian Left 69 problem simply by naming it. As Alastair Davidson noted in closing his history of the Communist Party. It is in this regard that we may speak of the negative political consequences of corporatist arrangements.85 The traditions of the later Comintern did become assimilated to some extent with local traditions. rather. in fact. What seems to be occurring. this shift “into the mainstream” has been consolidated at the very moment when the mainstream itself is shifting right. Further. But the enthusiasm for strategy cannot of itself generate socialism. laborism has consolidated its hold on the politics of Australian socialism within this rightward ambit. then. are cases advanced for even an AES. the Accord has filled its place. corporatism depoliticizes Australian society in general and the Australian left in particular. looking outward. Within the Labor Party arguments about socialism are rarely heard unless in the guise of arguments about the Accord. The Fabians do not seem to argue much.
disillusion is rampant on the left. about the future of the welfare state. its main legacy lives on in Melbourne in the journal Arena. they might also be said to reflect the cleavage in theoretical interests that informs the left. about masculinity and left strategy. not for its own sake but because it raises for consideration a whole series of central issues that need to be analyzed about the future of socialism.87 in some cases into the Labor Party. and so on. where marxism is now distinctly unfashionable and radical politics has been beaten from pillar to post. to the extent that radical Australian . about the adequacy of class analysis. have disappeared. correct. and the smaller left groups remain essentially irrelevant and aggressive in proportion to their irrelevance. But these are of course bad times. about the nature of trade unions and parties. Two major tendencies can be identified. The debate over corporatism has barely taken off. again often at the expense of politics other than the personal. Yet the debate around corporatism ought to be central. Ironically. presumably because too many on the left are too closely involved to engage in self-criticism. and improved through the use of Althusserian theory. The theoretical debates that raged between humanists and Althusserians over Marx and over Chile have long since dried up. Certainly the left has been much drawn to the idea of a dominant ideology. There are no comparable filiations in Sydney. hovers around laborism as its immediate focus. thereby saving these people from the task of addressing politics in anything other than a revolutionary way. the Althusserians. who may have been off the track but who did contribute to the improvement and vitality of debate in the 1970s. The first. The second tendency. Maoism is in tatters. perhaps. the renewed crisis tendencies of capitalism in the 1970s represent a double blessing for many Leftists: their arguments. nihilism is fashionable.70 The Australian Left also been drawn practically toward laborism. which has become a major independent institution on the left. the differences that brought about the 1984 split in the Communist Party remain essentially unaired. or illusion. and class analysis here intersects with culturalism. which is often more marginal. even if it claims publicly to be repulsed by it. formed around labor history and revived in the 1970s by political economy. as are narcissism and privatization. and the dull compulsion of everyday life of course affects leftists. about the necessity and nature of alliances. has fixed on ideology and culture as primary interests. emerged again. apparently suspended by the postwar boom. The broader dimensions of theoretical argument in Australian leftism reflect these facets of life in the 1980s. too. The old new left that emerged in the late 1950s has dispersed.
the future represents a sobering challenge for socialists in Australia. it is quite possible that the Hawke government will lose office before the Accord might come to grief. indeed. A generalized recognition of this situation and the responsibilities it raises would itself pose a first step in the direction of its resolution.88 It can also be observed that the left has long labored under the delusions of populist ideology. Certainly there can be no space for arguments about magical political solutions to the impasse of the Australian left. (1985) .The Australian Left 71 sociology has only just begun to address the questions raised earlier and elsewhere about the same. Santamaria or Malcolm Fraser or Rupert Murdoch as the source of the problem or blaming the local or American secret police for ongoing conspiracies rather than considering the question of why most Australians might be indifferent to arguments about socialism. A. But in Australia. Indeed. but the legacies of economism and ideologism remain inhibitors as far as the process of developing a specifically political discourse is concerned. Australian socialists are not yet facing a new beginning in any generalized sense. identifying conservative figures such as B. There is no clear sense of a socialist project on the left. The Accord may or may not last. What this means is that although both theoretical and strategic renewal has begun. The Accord would seem now to be a labor motif. it would seem reasonable to argue that a more specifically political discourse might have the function of mediating between existing discourses.89 This is not to suggest that there can or ought to be a unitary discourse or master language. The left would seem likely to remain structured by recent developments. the principle of difference and the separation between strategic and theoretical interests is in some ways vital. like Whitlam’s Medibank. Whether corporatist arrangements lead in the direction of social democracy or merely consolidate laborism. it will be ready for a comeback as labor’s generative framework for crisis management. there seems to be a proliferation of more or less hermetic radical languages that has continued unabated since the 1970s. as elsewhere.
its heightened sense is that justice is delivered by the market. Its social justice strategy has explicitly shifted from the universalism of Whitlam to the particularism of “targeting. and welfare cuts across the board. of course. near-British postwar period and the real excitement—and disappointment—provided by the Whitlam years. Since its inception. and Social Justice The experience of the Australian labor movement. it is not. and balance-of-payments reports.Six Australian Laborism. at least not in its postwar or Whitlamist senses (i. along the lines of European social democracy).” And above all. a declining social wage. From its earlier strengths through its tepid.2 Thatcherism. Australian labor has been happy to promote the image of its own exceptionalism. Its friends are in business. the Australian Labor Party (ALP) arrived in the 1980s as a force that has indeed been exceptional. Its modernized labor leaders share the concerns of austerity economics. Social Democracy. from the outside.. the current ALP government of Robert Hawke has managed the apparently impossible. 72 . tax cuts.1 Where the new right has taken distinctly traditional forms across the Atlantic. has always seemed different from labor movements elsewhere. Its Accord—the social contract binding the labor movement to the ALP government—has seen a dramatic erosion in standards of living. Its voice is still that of social justice. coalescing into something like a laborist Thatcherism. but its hand is that of austerity.e. But neither is it laborism.
It is here that any genealogy of social justice in Australia must start. “Are they defending Whitlam against Hawke or the 1940s against both?” bluster supporters of the present regime.Australian Laborism 73 Many problems confront those concerned with social justice in Australia. The central figure in this discourse is that of the proletarian. Social democracy can at least be viewed as a project that has yet to be fulfilled: its present degeneration by no means denotes the end of the story. . Laborism in Australia Laborism. New Zealand. and thus removed from the universalism of social democracy. those who would use the idea of social justice as a bludgeon or a beacon against the labor government find themselves compromised. as Castles terms it. and this is where the problem begins. whereby the labor movement sought out specifically political representation of its interests. or “labor socialism. Laborism is another issue altogether. The more radical stream has argued the old. the Australian labor movement historically has read the socialist project as being coextensive with the defense and extension of its own interests. that history begins with them. as a category. those who would criticize present tendencies are then faced with the problem of explaining past performance. a wage-earners’ welfare state. Whereas social democracy in Europe was socialist first.3 Laborism. Social justice has in consequence been defined narrowly rather than broadly. male. and hence to develop only a residual welfare state. who presume. in postmodern manner. laborist second. or at least held the two principles in some tension. The core issue is that laborism could not deliver social justice even if it were completely successful in its own terms. Today all socialist traditions find themselves in the dark. The larger problem that confronts Australian radicals is that their own tradition— laborism itself—has always been particularistic. for Hawke too claims that slogan of social justice as his own. Plainly. premarxist view that labor deserves to receive the full rewards of its exertions. refers to the experience common to Britain. Moreover. Those who would understand these problems need to take a further step back from the noise and flying dust of the ALP’s bazaar. and Australia. and the image of socialism behind it is a utopia peopled exclusively by proletarians. The peculiarly Australian laborist strategy was to defend these interests through the market.” in Australia has traditionally allowed for argument crossing two distinct interpretations of the theory of value. not the citizen.
” Its .6 This more moderate view seeks the adequate recompense of labor’s exertions alongside those of both capital and talent. The labor movement in Australia has failed to get beyond the assertion of economic rights. us-Shylock.4 Here the Australian labor movement’s populism also takes on more discernible features. as the sum total of individual human developments. social desserts go to those who are deemed productive by this cross-class definition.74 Australian Laborism usually white. In this purview. the peace of hearth against international militarism. and laborism sat quite comfortably with this doctrine. us-capital. The idea of new liberalism had emerged in the mid-1890s to describe the ideology associated with economic intervention. so does the more moderate view sidestep the problems of those whom it has defined as beyond productivity and effectively without rights. Liberty in the “new liberalism” became closely identified with individual welfare. In this broader yet still emasculated view. One central reason for this failure can be located in its historically ambivalent relationship to liberalism. it allows an ambivalence of outcome in political terms: economic or classical liberalism can render liberty negatively. available to the British movement.7 Because liberalism rests on the axis of private property. and so on. the worker versus the fat capitalist. for its thinking becomes more evidently given to the dualism characteristic of myth making—good-bad. the masculinism and racism of the Australian labor movement becomes more intelligible. not least of all because the labor movement has often been its unwitting bearer. as does its preference for a slender liberalism rather than the social liberalism that was on occasions. frequently skilled. at least in principle. while social or new liberalism views social property rather as the precondition of positive freedom. Just as the more “radical” view leaves nonproletarians off the social agenda. Liberalism is a pivotal tradition because it is capable of providing a grammar for both more innovative and more conservative policies. and a redistribution of wealth to remedy the unemployment and poverty that composed the “social question. us-them. Liberalism provides a kind of binding medium in modern Australian history. welfare measures. however defined.5 Alongside this more radical stream was another closer in affinity to Fabianism. The liberal tradition is especially significant in Australia. as the freedom of property from (state) coercion. The particular variant of this grammar that the labor movement in Australia was to draw on was new liberalism. interpreting social development positively. the maintenance of civic freedom with class harmony and consent.
housing. the better state provision of services and benefits in the fields of health. What we witness in Australian history is the exact opposite of the old. But not in Australia. transport.” Laborism is above all concerned with the advancement of concrete demands of immediate advantage to the working class and organized labor: wages and conditions of work.9 Thus the market remains the track along which laborism slides. Fabianism came to be identified as an elitist and technocratic view of socialism understood as a capitalist society. in a process that has been referred to as “colonial socialism” (more properly.Australian Laborism 75 initial dominant voice was that of Thomas Hill Green (1836–82). like the German revisionist Eduard Bernstein. The colonial state formed the market. and so on. saw liberalism as providing the original values from which socialism could flow. . this is hardly surprising given that Australian society was the product of the (British) state. now discredited commonsense view. There is now a growing recognition that the capitalist state was part of the formation process of the capitalist economy. Green was prepared to argue that property ought to be subordinate to the free life and the common good. Bernstein’s views undoubtedly were related to his practical and biographical proximity to English reformism and Fabianism in particular. Leonard T. New liberals such as Hobhouse were critical of what they called the “official” socialism of the English labor movement. what was it? We have already noted the elementary distinction between laborism and social democracy. education. pensions. “colonial liberalism”). Laborism identifies its political subject as the organized male working class and develops a strategy directed toward the defense and protection of the interests of that “class. has long had a special relationship with the state. Indeed. yet one that has maintained a sense that the market has primary responsibility for the delivery of social justice. and the labor market.8 Laborism in Australia. trade union rights. in any universalistic way. family allowances. It is often observed that Australia has a statist tradition. that the state was no mere supplementary apparatus tacked onto the capitalist accumulation process in the twentieth century. Hobhouse (1864–1929). for the colonial state formed capitalist social relations in Australia. reformed gradually from above. and the state has been ever present ever since as the protector of these markets. The Motifs of Laborism If the Australian labor tradition was never really socialist. even more so than in Britain. unemployment benefits.
saw the defeated unions form the Labor Party but without any particular independent ideology of its own.” The major strikes of the 1890s. but a “socialism with economistic doctrines. The more pragmatic ethos of this paradise was meanwhile articulated by the liberals. labor and its liberal political representatives had sought the protection of workers from “sweating. by the progressive ideology forged by the alliance of local manufacturers and workers. A political trade-off. Rather than merely supplying the conventional infrastructure and assistance. the keystone of which came to be the development of conciliation and arbitration and the notion of the basic wage.12 The more radical ideological currents characteristic of earlier Australian laborism were likewise derivative of other experiences. G. Laborism as an ideology. The shared motif across such arguments was a common workerism. Their New Protection envisaged the use of economic protection mechanisms as the basis for the social protection of the working class. was formed by colonial liberalism. rather.”13 “A dollar a day” was the real symbol of the working man’s paradise. This was not. The relationship between the Australian labor movement and the state was consolidated between 1890 and 1920. As Deakin explained it. Laborism. drew on the elements of social or new liberalism developed by the likes of Henry Bourne Higgins and Alfred Deakin and argued for earlier by David Syme and George Higinbotham. who were effectively purveyors of social policy to the labor movement.10 In the period before that.” as the visiting French socialist Métin supposed. the maritime and shearers’ strikes. drawing on Edward Bellamy’s industrialist fantasy of a highly technologized economy. W. and the labor movement has long danced a special tango with this state.76 Australian Laborism From the late nineteenth century. Australia and New Zealand became widely publicized as “social laboratories” of progressive legislation and experiment. . then. a “socialism without doctrines. then. New Protection had the characteristics of a social contract.11 The slogan of the turn-ofthe-century Federation era was “New Protection”—a shift beyond the simple manipulation of trade barriers to the development of a shared “lib-lab” social policy that was to ensure that workers also benefited from tariff protection of domestic capital. Spence drew inspiration from Henry George to produce a protocorporatist populism. Indeed a “social compact” was formed here. the Australian state had a primary role in social development. one that endured until its rupture in the Great Depression. William Lane had developed a laborist argument for socialism.
widely shared among those in the labor movement.14 State as guarantor. for it solidified the pact between labor and the state. At the same time it was retrogressive in that it was fixed on male wage rates. or its capacity to supply the local market. even if it was less immediately effective in wage terms than is often thought. who had argued in his encyclical Rerum Novarum that “reasonable and . The Higgins judgment was radical in that it elevated the criterion of proletarian need over that of the capacity of industry to pay as a wage-fixing principle.”15 Higgins’s values. As Macintyre observes.”16 Higgins’s utopia also drew on the specifically Catholic themes of protocorporatists such as Pope Leo XIII. The outcome was of considerable ideological importance. and all in the interests of the public. were set on the notion of equity between the unequal and relied on reason as the flux of social harmony. It aims at according to the manufacturer that degree of exemption from unfair outside competition which will enable him to pay fair and reasonable wages without impairing the maintenance and extension of his industry. The “New” Protection seeks to make them actual. Having put the manufacturer in a position to pay good wages it goes on to assure the public that he does pay them. Higgins indeed sought a “new province for law and order” in which “reason is to displace force: the might of the state is to enforce peace between industrial combatants. Higgins’s 1907 judgment was suggestive of backward-looking medieval values of community responsibility—values that the capitalist market had already mauled. market as distributor—fairness and reasonability within capitalist relations—such were the key categories of the new liberalism.” Higgins’s 1907 judgment established the principle of a basic or living wage for the unskilled laborer. consolidating a corporatist bias or tendency that was later to be seen in the Accord.Australian Laborism 77 The “Old” Protection contented itself with making good wages possible. Moreover. Higgins himself was later to formally decide in favor of lower rates for females. his wife. necessarily given his family focus. The 1906 Excise Tariff Act had stipulated that the Australian employer would benefit from economic protection only if his workers were paid “fair and reasonable wages. and his children on this basis. This was the immediate social context for Justice Henry Bourne Higgins’s momentous 1907 Harvester judgment. the judgment institutionalized the value of equity rather than equality in its guiding notion of “fairness. . . . in the 1912 Mildura Fruit Pickers Case.
78 Australian Laborism frugal comfort” was the right of every working man. one would belong to the other. it could be argued. If the Great Depression saw the revival of the case for “capacity to pay” in parliamentary labor and conservative circles alike. the state here was merely protecting the people (understood as workers and others of more independent means) against the parasites. and educate the population. were foreclosed. while Protection itself (along with White Australia) maintained the racist current of laborism. with the working class sitting on the state’s avuncular knee. with a statist twist: regulation could facilitate fair arrangement of the benefits that the market produced. J. As Hancock put it in 1929. It was only a slightly more intense desire for harmony that had led William Roylance to argue at the First International Trades Union Congress that via cooperation there could be achieved “an indissoluble solidarity of interest [that] would unite employer and employed. sufficient to feed. That John Maynard Keynes had corporatist inclinations is well recognized. essential to the other. then. in laborist timbre.”18 The same utilitarian sentiment had earlier been well expressed. the Harvester judgment embodied the interventionist but masculinist principles of new liberalism. clothe. Don. as limbs to the head. Even in the 1930s. and it could not simply close up shop.22 What emerged from the 1940s did not violate this tendency. the consolidation of the welfare state in the 1940s saw a renewed enthusiasm for arguments about regulation and equity. The mission of the ALP governments of John . substantial alternatives in state or society.”20 All this together produced less “state socialism” than a paternalist statism. however. Hancock and Frederic Eggleston had acknowledged. The early new liberal enthusiasm for the development of human potential had gone. the first working man to sit in the Victorian state parliament: “How is the problem of the greatest possible amount of happiness for the greatest number to be affected? I will tell you. by C. The market was to be regulated. .17 Seeking harmony within the existing social arrangements. As leading liberals such as W.”19 Here spoke John Stuart Mill. each being . “Australian democracy has come to look upon the State as a vast public utility whose duty is to provide the greatest happiness of the greatest number. K. though it did confirm the niggardly welfarism and begrudging Keynesianism of parliamentary labor. by regulating the number of hours that a man shall work in a day. . the state had a central role in economic and social policy.21 As Spence had it. the commitment to state activity was suspended on tactical rather than substantive grounds.
”26 And while . There had been much controversy over whether such an endowment might be used to undercut male wages or whether it might rather potentially extend the citizenship principle by defining women and their children as independent beneficiaries and therefore as subjects in their own rights. he would indeed prefer it to the “economic individualism that we had under the old order. It celebrated loudly the arrival of labor’s alleged “Golden Age. In 1944 Chifley told Parliament that if “regimentation” were necessary for the achievement of basic socialist goals. The centerpiece of the local welfare legislation was an insurance package introducing. Chifley had argued against the insurance principle yet followed this progressive welfare principle in a retrogressive manner. evocative of equality but barely even capable of delivering equity. The general results of the reform process were begrudging. the labor movement was now urged to set its sights on a new beacon. it is clear that Australia experienced a somewhat milder version of the reformist fervor than that which had struck Britain during and after the war. which meant that the working class paid. Despite the euphoria for this “Golden Age” now revived by some on the left.25 Yet the reconstruction period was conspicuously one of reforms and of arguments for reform. What the labor movement claimed for itself was more ambitious. to march further toward the “light on the hill”24—a cloudy evangelical mirage projected by the labor government. Although William Beveridge’s plan for Britain institutionalized the idea of contributory but universal welfare. Postwar reconstruction in Australia saw the pursuit of equity and rationalization—the values of new liberalism given a parliamentary face. among other things. Child endowment had earlier been introduced by the conservative government of Robert Menzies. For what was delivered was a thinly strung welfare safety net rather than a set of arrangements recognizing citizens as the active subjects rather than the passive objects of welfare.”23 Having marched through the valley of death in European and Pacific war theaters.Australian Laborism 79 Curtin and Ben Chifley in the 1940s was compatible with Keynes’s mission in that it sought to revive the sense of social contract between labor and the state. quite literally. for the reform package through increased taxation. a cash unemployment benefit. indicating something of the breadth and durability of liberalism’s appeal and something of the ambivalence of the Australian reform process. Nowhere can this be better seen than in the arguments of Chifley about the limits of the capitalist market.
His arguments were more often aligned with those of John Stuart Mill than with the stronger demands of the new liberals like Hobhouse. while welfare. It was this explosive development in the economy rather than these changes in state policy that was responsible for the boom. these aggressive intonations in Labor’s postwar economic and social policy were eventually to be supplanted by the greatest expansion in capital accumulation and mass consumption imaginable.27 Whitlam: Reform and Tradition The Whitlam experience represents the high point of what Stuart Macintyre has termed “the short history of social democracy in Australia. at least in rhetoric. indeed. might take the hindmost.80 Australian Laborism the Labor government’s defeated attempt at bank nationalization in 1947 was still representative of the old labor populist demonology about “money power. Whitlam argued for. Ironically enough. and Herbert Vere Evatt. Henry Bourne Higgins. if by that term we mean to invoke the fuller-blooded Swedish program or the reformist vision of German social democracy before the Great War. alluding to the impact of a reformism that in a sense had more aura than it had substance.” it nevertheless symbolized something of the interventionist reforming resolve that activated Labor. the fundamental premise was still that the market could see Jack and his master look after themselves. rather than the devil. these sympathies were also claimed by Menzies. Alfred Deakin. Social democratic the Whitlam government was not. it set the scene for the later modernization of the party by Whitlam. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s parliamentary labor remained entrapped within the racist and conservative currents of the laborist tradition epitomized in its leader. It is these elements of continuity that help make sense of the combination of the elements within the party that were to come into violent antagonism only with the ALP split.”28 Macintyre’s catchphrase is appropriately hyperbolic: it suggests something of the contrast between the 1970s and the earlier provenance of labor. Although the split was electorally disastrous for the ALP. The slogan “Full Employment” became the equivalent of the earlier “New Protection”. Arthur Calwell. and his government to some extent realized. Whitlam stood rather for the civility and progress that had earlier been claimed by the likes of George Higinbotham. These arrangements continued largely unaltered through the long years of the conservative “Menzies Millennium”. the extension (or application) of the elements of social liberalism to which the labor movement has so .
Australian Laborism 81 long been formally attached. Its goal is greater equality of the services which the community provides. but the argument was better: it was that of enlightened liberalism. the Australian Assistance Plan offered new power to the local community. a view resting still on the principle of equity rather than equality but with this increased franchise.”29 In his argument the citizens remained linguistically masculine. Equality was not in any meaningful definition the object of such a doctrine as much as was equity or meritocracy. “What we aim at is the achievement of the classical liberal idea of the career open to the talents—equality of opportunity—in a vastly expanded form. For Whitlam this meant— in a view naive yet reflecting a touching pathos—that every child should have a desk.” According to Whitlam. Education and health policy under Whitlam reflected the presence of what C.” Whitlam argued that. . the health of himself and his family . This would seem to be an affinity far clearer than that with postwar German social democracy or the “Swedish miracle. As he put it. in his characteristically grandiloquent public inflection. and privacy in which to study. Whitlam stood for the view that citizens had to be taken seriously as citizens. positively requires private affluence to prevent public squalor. [and so on] are determined not so much by his income but by the availability and accessibility of the services which the community alone can provide and ensure. B. . beyond the classical conception for which education alone . Whitlam called this position the “doctrine of positive equality.” though ideological parallels occur here as well. This is not to say that the Whitlam regime produced no real reforms in theory or practice: Medibank finally arrived. tertiary education fees were abolished. a lamp. the “citizen’s real standard of living. This approach . resulting in substantial increases in the number of women attending tertiary institutions. . for the strategy produced aimed at that elusive Fabian goal.” As he wrote: “This concept does not have as its primary goal equality of personal income. For the notion of “positive equality” remains essentially meritocratic liberalism recast in rosy hue. equality of opportunity in a society of unequals. and so on. . Whitlam’s views were consonant with those of the tradition of British reform that ran from John Stuart Mill via Thomas Hill Green—at least as far as concerns about citizenship are concerned—to Anthony Crosland. The focus on health and education as preconditions of individual achievement and social performance is enough to suggest that. Macpherson (1977) has called “developmental” liberalism. having long waited notionally in the antechamber of reform.
like Crosland’s. as calling for “redistribution in wealth and incomes and social benefits”. He did on occasion summon social democracy. Whitlam argued that security was not a goal in itself—security was merely a precondition of participation. For it was Whitlam who had argued. modernization and constitutionalism became the two major themes. . except in areas such as health. but the essential message was about opportunities within the existing social relations. that “socialists should not be content with nationalising where necessary. Like Beveridge. they should be intent on competing where possible and initiating where desirable. The central shift in the 1970s from . Like Hugh Gaitskell and others in the British Labor Party. particularly after 1959. his program rested on the idea of the development of community services as such. In its hands. . in statesmanlike rhetoric. “gas and water socialism. popular involvement in decision making. this is manifest nowhere more clearly than in his 1972 election speech. uplifting the horizons of the Australian people. . Whitlam was happy to spur growth by entrepreneurial means rather than state activity. on occasion.33 The Whitlam government was thankfully distant from the dull sort of logic now associated retrospectively with postwar labor governments in Britain and Australia. was likely to be speechless before the opening economic crisis.82 Australian Laborism was central.31 The rhetoric of 1972 is certainly important in making sense of Macintyre’s hyperbole. he viewed socialism as an electoral liability. Yet there was more to the Whitlam experience. he argued as though the economic necessity of socialism had simply been made redundant by capitalist boom.30 Closer. Like the fact-gathering Fabians. The sins of capitalism in Australia are ones of omission rather than commission and of not being sufficiently enterprising and independent. in which he exhorted citizens to support a labor program based on the promotion of equality.”32 The parallels in postwar reformism are abundant. Clearly.” Whitlam imagined that his task was of a higher order. along with those in the dominant stream of the German social democrats. Chifley’s “light on the hill” was the way out of despair for those who had suffered the “shafts of fate. Whitlam’s vision was that of a “social democracy” of prosperity that.” as a still necessary priority. Like Crosland. but ten years earlier. and it was reminiscent of less inspiring lineages in the reforming traditions. to the new liberals. he saw urban services. and the liberation of popular talents. which leave them helpless and without hope.
Whitlam sought planning as the active facilitation of competitive market forces. but the response was modified. this dubious distinction must go to the Hawke socialist government. Despite its vocal penchant for monetarist rhetoric. Whitlam himself identified the absence of an actual social contract between the ALP and the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) as a major drawback.Australian Laborism 83 the would-be nationalizers of the 1940s was one in which traditional suspicions of the market were cast off in favor of the rhetoric of competition. A coherent and systematic project of social justice.37 Curtin is hailed as providing support for this case. In this. as in much else. particularly after the creation of its 1986 budget. though the austerity regime of James Scullin would probably . In the 25 percent tariff cuts of July 1973. which federal governments of both persuasions have been concerned to reverse ever since. In Whitlam’s insurance legislation. Here the point of continuity from the 1940s to the 1970s is the opposition to the reign of monopoly capital. Some defenders of the Hawke government have been keen to argue that the earlier precedents were sounder. Its actual performance was another matter. however. from statist to competitive. and it is this that has maintained the distance between the 1970s and the deregulationism of the 1980s. The first round of wage cuts was instigated not by the government of Malcolm Fraser. Certainly Treasurer Paul Keating has claimed some continuity with the labor governments of the 1940s. His government had delivered dramatic increases in the social wage but lacked any contractual mechanism to prevent wage breakouts. but rather by Treasurer Bill Hayden in the Whitlam government’s last budgetary stand.35 The result was an increase in labor’s proportion of national wealth. How is this decline to be explained? It is evident enough that the context was set for the rightward slide by Whitlam’s economic policies but not by his social policies. beyond positive inequality. the conservative regime that displaced that of Whitlam.34 Looking back on this period. the activating principle was no longer state monopoly but rather competitive public enterprise. for the Accord has not only eroded the living standards of ordinary workers but also frozen out laborism’s dispossessed. Whitlam was challenging business to perform.36 If any recent government has turned the welfarist tide. its more ambitious advocates also hoped that it would do rather more. The ACTU-ALP Accord was at least to resuscitate equity for the working class. was also lacking. the Fraser government did rather less by way of dismantling the welfare state than has often been thought.
apparently. restraint with equity means never having to say one is sorry. the populist conception of society and mechanical or instrumental conceptions of politics as a means to further self-interest. Conclusions Viewed synthetically. Laborism as a tradition has always manifested some tendency or bias to corporatism—from the “New Protection” to the Harvester judgment. Liberalism has moved on its pivot since the 1880s. the contours of Australian laborism emerge with some clarity. Hawke’s belated rediscovery of poverty in the 1987 election campaign can hopefully be put to good use by those who would argue.84 Australian Laborism serve as stronger support. This atmosphere of social siege. Some among them remain committed to the idea of social justice.38 This is not to say that Australian Labor governments (federal and state) in the 1980s are nothing but callous capitalist machines. about poverty and unemployment within the vocabulary of the “new” liberalism. the evocation of Curtin’s wartime crisis. once again. Even parts of the Fabian tradition may be usefully revived in this process. to the left with Whitlam and ultimately to the right in the 1980s with Keating’s and Hawke’s economic liberalism (now mystically called economic “rationalism”). This vision of politics effectively forecloses the possibility of the social democratic strategy and all kindred arguments that democracy and citizenship need to be core values of socialism rather than strategic devices for it. blended with its local features. the Hawke government seems to be committed to the pursuit of economic “competition” with the compensatory welfare mechanisms so central to the Swedish experiment. The new liberalism was the informing impulse of the ideology of laborism. the lofty images of citizenship associated with the new liberalism seem fully to have succumbed to the pecuniary aspirations of those who are financially well off.39 this and Mr. from the “light on the hill” to Whitlam’s . For although the “Swedish miracle” still inspires economic and social admiration in different quarters of the labor movement. What remains is a labor government claiming affinity with the begrudging welfarism of the 1940s and an ACTU that is still animated by the progressive parts of the laborist ethos which that government has vacated. may merely be suggestive of the fact that war has been declared this time not on an external enemy but on an internal one—the poor.40 Into the 1980s. though Hawke has also attempted to circumvent such potential by claiming the consensual and corporative themes of that lineage.
Labor has certainly been party to this process. and also something less than exceptional. The historic pact between manufacturers and unions has weakened with the present recession. including the right to well-being as a necessary prerequisite to social and political participation. for the present. there remain hope for discussion of these issues and possibilities that . What is striking about the Australian case. amid these apparent ruins there remain spaces for argument. So long as space for argument exists. In all of this it remains true that Australian politics is an economistic politics. but has never been pursued with any seriousness of intent or thoroughness of purpose outside market premises. social justice becomes essentially a matter of refloating the local manufacturing sector. has been viewed variously as a kind of electoral pork barrelling or as a larger priority.42 Yet the industrial intervention strategy simultaneously revives one of Keynesianism’s most pernicious myths by posing the terms of full employment and social justice as synonyms and by subsuming social policy to economic policy once again.Australian Laborism 85 “doctrine of positive equality. What this means is that social justice strategy has shifted across the field dominated by liberalism and laborism. And yet. and somehow living with Hawke’s Labor government does not seem to have produced the sense of profound demoralization characteristic among radicals elsewhere. Labor is certainly the victim of its own thought traditions in this regard. labor. as the best administrators of popular austerity. and today labor governments are again seen as crisis managers. both in parliamentary and in industrial terms. Clearly even its most adventurous thinkers remain within these traditions. its political history is the history of producer groups. and agriculture. The most ambitious recent attempt at left intervention.41 Certainly such a strategy can be defended. the Australian experience is less than inspiring. If we view social justice as a matter of citizenship rights. is the history of lost opportunities for social reform. rather.” culminating. primarily those of business. just as it was suspended in the 1930s. seeking collaboration with the state in order to protect and extend their own interests. in the Accord. the industry development policy argued for in the ACTU’s Australia Reconstructed. effectively manages to avoid issues of welfare and social justice. for it at least indirectly makes the point that social justice ought be defined in terms of the national political agenda and not dictated by the wiles of the world system. arguing that justice can still be accomplished via universalizing participation in the labor market.
Better understanding of the discourse of laborism is one prerequisite step forward. (1989) .86 Australian Laborism there might emerge a more muscular discourse concerning rights and social justice. can better enable us to view the way forward. Looking backward. now.43 Reconsideration of the values of socialism— including the idea of social justice—might hopefully be another.
Still surrounded by the controversy over Power without Glory. that even horseracing was organized on socialist lines (though one cannot feel from the narrative whether all the punters win or they all lose). transfixed by the decadent culture of Hollywood. Hardy defended the proletariat on the grounds that it alone was the “useful class. It was. and probably they were. and Henri de Saint-Simon set the stage for the usual litany of Soviet miracles. the decent and progressive class. a defense of the workers’ paradise.”1 This bizarre amalgam of Jeremy Bentham.Seven The End of Australian Communism In 1952 a young man named Frank Hardy published his second major book. provided a wholesome contrast to the dissipated youth of the West. to replace them with “proletarian” lies. was conducted in the workers’ paradise. where bubbling Soviet youth. his own response. Hardy’s motif was that of so much writing in this now dead genre— Lincoln Steffens’s “I have seen the future and it works!” But his book was also the stuff of high Stalinism. but even the labor of childbirth. he titled his new venture Journey into the Future. offered no great improvement. to his evident delight. simultaneously engaged in gymnastics and dialectics. Hardy claimed that most of the stories told about the Soviet experience were bourgeois lies. George Orwell. For Hardy proposed that not only proletarian labor.2 He painted the usual picture. He discovered. of course.3 87 . without pain.
Peaking at 23. and of course found them. and it was melancholy. For him. communism was already in crisis. and so on. narrow sense rather than the open. for the subjects of these are still viewed as interesting people.10 Clark traveled to the Soviet Union as an archaeologist. Hardy waxed lyrical about the Moscow metro and the cars that sped along its roads.6 the Soviet Union is the most democratic state in the world. embraced Stalinism. for Soviet man was triumphalist. And writers like Hardy were not alone. Clark evidently felt unhappy about both modernism and postmodernism. In Australia. But the Trotskyists were out of step. Clark recognized. Trotskyists. for his argument culminated in the period hymns to Marshal Stalin: “one cannot find a major error that he has made in thirty years”. in our own time. the irony was that the country of Dostoevsky had lapsed back to an age of faith. The Soviets were religious in the bad. few but the dwindling ranks of the CP and a handful of fellow-travelers took “Soviet man” seriously. he embraced the imagery of modernism to which the Soviets aspired but that even Leon Trotsky viewed as chimeral.000 members. indeed an entire genre of pilgrimage grew up in Australia. Clark was troubled by Soviet puritanism and by . there is now a new wave of communist biography and autobiography.7 Little wonder that there were also Australian Trotskyists. although this distinct genre has evaporated. existential sense. while intellectuals in the West had already packed up and gone home in despair. believing in the triumph of the human spirit. In 1958 Australia’s premier historian went in search of flaws in the Russian clay. he claimed to have found there a relic. The cult of the Soviet Union affected Australian life in an emphatic way. and automobiles could barely manage ten kilometers per hour on the highways to Soviet socialism.11 Unlike Hardy.9 Not all the pilgrims were as effusive as Hardy or Lindsay. Jack Lindsay penned an apologetic titled The Way Ahead. and even more strikingly in Britain.4 Here it was Hardy who took his readers to the cleaners. given to the values of the Enlightenment.5 crime and mental illness are rapidly fading away.8 Stalin made the cover of the Women’s Weekly. and rightly so. as Trotsky commented in The Revolution Betrayed. the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) even had a bookshop in the middle-class suburb of Camberwell. to mention the other (in)famous literary case. one could not send trousers to the cleaners without having them return sans buttons. Manning Clark reported in his study Meeting Soviet Man that he had seen not the future but the past. Moreover. too.88 The End of Australian Communism Like other pilgrims. By 1958.
we would have been fools to believe that communism was an eternal force. it led. Jean Devanny. Coombs. The CPA was always a vanguard among Western communist parties. has been a kind of halfway house for Australian radicals. The CPA was a tradition. at the least. it became dominant through the revolution against Capital and the tentacles of the . C. This was a courageous act: it takes great courage to acknowledge that a party is finished. just as today they become marketeers (mouseketeers). and sociologically. as Clark observed. Dorothy Hewett. This crucial experience also helps explain the rise of Keynesianism and the particular path of Australian communists such as Lloyd Ross into the planners’ office of the ALP with H. The historic strength of communism in Australia was the power of Depression communism.13 Its collapse. As Rupert Lockwood used to joke. Stuart Macintyre. the biggest party in Australia is the party of former communists.14 Viewed historically. preceded the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. even. Noel Counihan. as well as an advance of sorts. and Alastair Davidson—and the efforts of the thousands of ordinary communists and fellow-travelers who argued for socialism in office. and this is a loss. the loss was entirely predictable. Katherine Susannah Prichard—and. For communism. significantly. There is now one fewer stream in civil society.12 Into the 1970s. was already in decline before that. Brian Fitzpatrick. a literature. It signals the loss of a tradition in Australian culture. the membership of the CPA was heading toward two thousand. Bernard Smith. Alongside the Stalinoid tracts of Hardy and Lindsay sit all their other brilliant works and those of Ian Turner. in closing up shop. at least since the Prague Spring. a public sphere. Russel Ward. The institution. kitchen. The CPA split in 1964 and 1971 and again in 1984. then.The End of Australian Communism 89 the caricature of Western decadence. more recently. This is one aspect of the loss. But his real attraction was less to “Soviet man” than to the “tragic grandeur” of Russia. The Soviet Union became the workers’ paradise in the specific context of the Depression. Judah Waten. Viewed in larger. and factory and were active throughout the unions and social movements. historical terms. For Stalinism was planism applied. Tim Rowse. Communism in Australia was primarily a generational phenomenon. and this signals a loss. There are two dramatic symbols that capture the vitality of the Soviet experience for an earlier generation—the Wall Street crash and the siege of Stalingrad. when the majority of its Victorian leadership liquidated into the Australian Labor Party (ALP). The 1930s was an era when everyone became a planner.
again constitutes . This shift occurred largely because of the modernization of the labor movement. the pursuit of the image of the other. what we faced in Australia was the transformation of political life. This had a great deal to do with the effective retirement of two sets of actors whose influence had hitherto been pivotal: communists and Catholics. in a sense. Communism has always. It is a glacial slide. or puritanical. edges. and it has now terminated.90 The End of Australian Communism Comintern. The image of communism was tarnished by Stalinism and by its self-extension throughout East and Central Europe on the point of the bayonet. It is worth sounding a note of caution here. Communist parties in countries such as Australia had all but wound down well before the great revolutions of 1989. too. supplanting social democracy in parts of Western Europe and splitting the entire labor movement into the communist and social democratic fractions. in this regard. Then the emergence of the new left and the generation of 1968 played its part to extend the malaise. it is true not only that the positive impulse of communism. The demise of communism. Amid the collapse of the institutional forms of communism there it has frequently been implied that the problems involved have also completely expired. But the dissolution of communism represents a loss. This is no sea-change. refugees not from want but from the excesses of the “me generation. Anti-intellectualism and the deadly combination of administrative heaviness and redemptive euphoria are arguably features of Australian labor that preceded and have outlived communism itself. been the left wing of the ALP. Into the 1980s. the old Depression communists found themselves in a party now colonized by hippies and sexual radicals. In this sense.” All these forces had combined to bring about the death knell of communism’s historic organizational form. Communism became dominant. is alive. but also that its baser features have outlived the organizational form as well. But the administrative transformation of the ALP and the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has effectively meant the elimination of its principled. The Soviet bloc had begun to implode already with the Sino-Soviet dispute and the suppression of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Old communists began to vote with their feet. when we consider the physiognomy of Australian political culture today. In the Australian case we have yet to identify the attributes of local Stalinism in order to establish what there was in it that was new. so again this decline should be no surprise. which helped lead to social fascism and then to fascism.
They understood at least something about principle and about difference. more often than not good citizens. Both traditions were actually mainstream in many regards: both argued for social justice. provided that they are prepared to recognize that administration is not politics (but this may be a battle we have already lost). and the good citizen.The End of Australian Communism 91 a loss. and they had lived up to Max Weber’s challenge: they had chosen a warring god. They chose their god. and ordinary communists were. The levels of tolerance that one could ascribe to the good citizen were not always evident. Yet they learned that they were individuals in a world where there were higher things. Administrators we of course need. equity. The “ordinary” communists have nowhere left to go—the new left party is too new for them—and newer generations are likely to end up in “fun” parlors or hanging around on street corners rather than selling the Tribune. Zealots we are happily without. Where have the communists gone? The answer. for communists disappeared either into the labor bureaucracy or into their own private spheres of disillusion and high consumption. communism and Catholicism were probably not extremities in Australian politics at all. not given to pluralism. they had a morality if not always an ethics. as far as I can tell. Good citizens we cannot do without. family. which makes little sense in a new world where politics consists of the seamless unity of the two central parties posited over the left and right of the very center. add to the . The distinction between the zealot and the good citizen from case to case breaks down. in my experience. they managed to contribute to civil life even from within the constraints of their respective fundamentalist socializations. Take away the fatal fascination with the Soviet Union. the zealot. They may not have been as good citizens as the citizens we would like—this much is probably true. outside of the staging. If the question to be asked of any component of the national culture is “What kind of personality type does it encourage?” communism (and likely anticommunism) brought out three character types—the administrator. What is striking in retrospect is that. Like their Catholic counterparts. Their cultural universe was monotheistic. and authority and disagreed violently over the particular question of communism and the Soviet Union. Their norms and values were worlds away from the flatulent self-indulgence of the 1990s. but they also joined their church. is this: they have lapsed into technocratic laborism or have disappeared somewhere in the lounge rooms of their own narcissism. Communists were probably more pluralistic in practice than they were in principle.
Margaret Thatcher tells us that there are no alternatives. but at least it was a local utopia.17 As subsequent welfare historians have shown. The new commonsense view is that the great ideological divide. One was the issue of labor anticommunism. Would that it were so. for revolutions confer myths of foundation. and at the least it emerged from some kind of civic culture. which was always simply explained away as some kind of bad false consciousness. However.18 A century later.16 Baudrillard. Or was it singular? No alternative. For there are at least two things that my generation of Australian radicals were never able to face up to. German. which is one basic undercurrent in fellow-traveling. and this is one source of identity that the Australian left has always lacked. French. we now have Jean Baudrillard to tell us the good news that he has found the real utopia—in Disneyland. There is no way back. to some extent. we still have a great deal to learn about our own traditions. American. and consequently imported. More likely they are in its foundational myths. radicals actually need to feel at home in their own culture. and British radicals made the pilgrimage to Australia in order to see how the “social laboratory” of the fin de siècle worked. The problem we confront is a new commonsense view. for the memories have gone. nor should there be. raises some central hackles and issues for radicals. and it is memory that sustains the political identities on which we draw. and you have the demise of Australian communism and political Catholicism alike. in order to fruitfully participate in it. but they are not those claimed by Baudrillard.92 The End of Australian Communism picture the modernization of Labor and the flattening of civic life. in Australia as elsewhere. this fellow-traveler of the new brave new world.15 The Cold War ruined the lives of too many people. Ironic as it may seem. There may thus be utopias in America. we have no perverse nostalgia for the loss of the 1950s. The other was the issue of America itself. The end of communism in . Instead of Hardy hectoring us about the Soviet paradise. Here it is important to remember that in an earlier epoch. for my generation had still not been able to reconcile itself to the diversity of the American experience or to the vitality of the American Revolution. But it is not—for there are new certainties. this image of Australia as a world leader was also utopian. this archetypical nasty dualism—left versus right—has been replaced by a new sense of contingent possibility. Anti-Americanism has always involved a strong element of self-hatred.
Australian radicals now have a better chance of resisting the two vocational temptations of Jacobinism and fellow-traveling. we should celebrate. The challenge to Australian radicals in this is enormous. The ACTU’s utopia is in some ways a refiguration of the security utopia of the 1930s. Now we are obliged to think for ourselves. or else to fall silent. and the temptation is to go postmodern. probably in the 1930s. As I understand it. where everything goes because nothing any longer matters. In the 1980s labor had two competing utopias. because with the previously mentioned losses there are also gains. and to make choices. more worldly. before October. those vices that have bedeviled most of the history of Australian socialism. as the image of the good society was imported more predictably from the English tradition: the utopia of independent bushmen or yeomen. We live in a culture that generates more enthusiasm for and against the Ninja Turtles than it does over the gains and losses of the way we live. The government’s image of the good society is closer to Baudrillard’s. Australian radicals should now turn their attention to the socially influential utopias that are actually on the agenda. that the Russian Revolution was the worst thing that ever could have happened to the course of socialism. this image was replaced. this exemplary instance of the pursuit . What they often posited. by the utopia of social security or minimal provision. The prospect is awesome. Now that we are free of this dead weight. the incubus of the Soviet imaginary is lifted. Now we shift. into this setting where it is necessary to respond to our own situation. sober. They already knew that their own situation was less than idyllic. Internationalism gives way to cosmopolitanism as we realize finally that communism. but these are incredibly difficult to register in a public sphere that seems to be shrinking. to replace other images of utopia with those of the Soviet workers’ paradise. Communists chose. finally. its residual impulse is still to be felt in the enthusiasm for suburbanism. because the economization of public life proceeds apace and we have no vocabulary adequate to proclaim the profound loss of human potential that ensues from this process.The End of Australian Communism 93 Australia represents the end of an epoch. that of Saint-Simonian modernization—the hope of the ACTU—and that of abundance via the market—the hope of federal Labor. from the 1920s on. to transcend the self-hatred of earlier leftism—to embrace our journey not into the future but into the present. Max Weber was right. Having taken their stance against the Soviet utopia. the closing of a period of selfincurred tutelage.
our responsibilities are located in a culture and in a present. Destiny will not knock at the door. whereas it is rather a norm. we need to recognize that our journey is no longer to a place or to a future. it is open. rather. After Hardy and his generation.94 The End of Australian Communism of the other. after the collapse of Stalinism and then Bolshevism. with the final reabsorption of marxism into a broader critical culture. We have finished with the romance of revolution. (1990) . made the vital mistake of earlier utopias: it imagined that utopia is a place. We must now begin to live in history.
For better or worse. as Derrida has written. At the same time. the alter ego of a capitalist or industrial civilization ever ill at ease with itself. suggests that the two phenomena might most usefully be read culturally. as signs of our times. or postmodernism. marxism and communism have been combined. The idea of juxtaposing totalitarianism and postmodernity. the same thing—after Marx. both in the popular imagination and in scholarship. in fact. a societal) form rather than a political order in the way that communism was. increasingly. is a cultural (or. they both in common fail to elicit controversy but rather become part of the furniture. even if they are of different types. we have 95 . however. therefore. Yet.1 Postmodernity. for some. at least from one perspective.Eight Between Totalitarianism and Postmodernity I What is between totalitarianism and postmodernity. parts of the traditions we inhabit and the vocabularies we call on to make sense of modernity. Between totalitarianism and postmodernity is therefore. as does the postmodern. From most perspectives. or at least associated. and what comes after? The two terms refer to significant markers or symbols of our times. The end of communism as a political or social regime leaves traces. Marx also acts as a specter. the collapse of communism between 1989 and 1991 had a radical effect on Western culture.
though it is certainly true to say that marxism was a dominant ideological presence in the twentieth century rather than the nineteenth. and ossification in the hands of various followers. it is antipodean. In this there should be no surprise. So the project is European in the sense that marxism worked as a continental series of traditions. outside of and against all other ways of thinking. The influences on the journal were many and varied. It was also antipodean. Using its subtitle as a measure. for marxism after all represented a confluence of various already existing currents in Marx’s world and its extension. The transformation of Thesis Eleven across this period is itself an interesting indicator of the times. even since its transpacific collaboration with the MIT Press from 1990. at the same time importing and exporting radical scholarship.2 Marx’s work was a brilliant synthesis created from pre-existing themes and categories. consolidation. The journal Thesis Eleven was founded in Melbourne in 1980 as part of this moment. or socialisms. its selfunderstanding shifted from that of “A Journal Working at the Crossroads of Socialism and Scholarship” to “A Socialist Journal. This also . revision. the currents influenced by humanism. then by Antonio Gramsci. and it is transpacific as well as transatlantic. perhaps more so in England and Australia than in America. before the collapse of communism or the cultural arrival of talk about the postmodern. marxism was a dominant scholarly influence and intellectual ideology into the 1960s. we all became marxists. The idea that marxisms. however. connected by subordination to Britain and America in the world system.96 Between Totalitarianism and Postmodernity already been after Marx for a century. Marxism has become part of the cultural common sense of the planet. is apparent—that processes of change have themselves served to destabilize marxism as a set of traditions. from Western marxism to structuralism and across the range of issues associated with a journal characteristic of social democracy at its best.” the latter a paradox. The sense. and it has remained so. Louis Althusser.” then to “Interpreting Modernity. was not only dangerously arrogant but analytically impossible. for it directly violates Marx’s Eleventh Thesis on Ludwig Feuerbach. then. everybody knows that economy rules. Indeed. some would say postcolonial. saw an efflorescence of marxist thinking. were somehow immaculate conceptions. Within sociology. To anticipate. like Kautsky’s Neue Zeit a century earlier. or at least to its present cultural inheritance in the 1990s. and Michel Foucault. what has happened to marxism today is to notice that it has returned to the cultural sources from whence it came.
to fall for a kind of nominalistic fallacy rather than to read the traces of a movement that emerged from European culture and returns to it. perhaps two stand out. As an old man from Konigsberg had it way back when. The second section was called “In the Wake of Postmodernity. Ferenc Féher. contrary to common sense. nor. he is committed to the idea of ambivalence as a central orienting device and motif of modernity. This is a lesson moderns have been slow to learn. if somehow uninspiring. which itself is no bad thing. postmodern sociology.3 It brought together some of the best representative essays published in Thesis Eleven over the years. now it remains so. and me.” referring here to Bolshevism and democracy. in retrospect. Johann Arnason. exactly. Edgar Morin. Socialisms emerge. In the liberal arts it has become part of the way we think. it is probably fair to say that we have run out of gurus. To mistake their formal evacuation for the end of their influence is to look in the wrong place. Gunnar Skirbekk. As litmus tests of concerns. a sociology of postmodernity. Of course. divided into two sections organized around these themes. and Cornelius Castoriadis—all Thesis Eleven people in one way or another (though none of them. In sociological theory in general.” picking up on the other axis. is there a Touraine School. autonomy means thinking for yourself. Bauman now is recognized as one of the most significant sociologists since Georg Simmel because. many of these writers and their views are pivotal. we probably . of course.4 Taking Bauman seriously. at least in its critical register. Alain Touraine. Julian Triado. It included essays by Zygmunt Bauman. The first section was titled “Two Faces of Modernity. Bauman’s argument in this case concerns the idea that sociologists have two basic choices about their practice—they develop a new field. that marxism is dead only in the most arbitrary or legalistic of senses. like Simmel. it was part of European culture in the first place. it included essays by Peter Murphy. whatever we call it. there is no Bauman School. The work of Bauman does not offer a template so much as advise a way of thinking. From the disciplinary perspective of sociology. and Pierre Bourdieu’s work remains exemplary because of its insistence on substantive engagement. Andrew Arato and Jean Cohen. as the alter egos of modernism and enlightenment. were party members in this age of multiple identities). Anthony Giddens remains enormously influential. Agnes Heller. Between Totalitarianism and Postmodernity was the first MIT Thesis Eleven Reader. Axel Honneth. or else pursue a new project out of the old one.Between Totalitarianism and Postmodernity 97 means.
for its guiding curiosity is about change. there are three major developments that characterized modernity—the acceleration of economic change. that there is no such thing as “society. however. According to Touraine. can it grasp its own subject or process? Touraine’s point is quite different from that of those who. In other words. then. Touraine’s question is provocative. like Ernesto Laclau. Its title jars—“Is Sociology Still the Study of Society?”—but its message is powerful. movement or change is what sets modernity apart. identify society with the nation-state and tend to use organic or mechanistic systemic metaphors to think of societies as things that will fit into four-box schemes. Moderns and mainstream sociologists. Yet in sociology it is the structural image of society rather than the fact of change that counts. however. a concern with the transhistorical practices and rituals that we inherit. and the internationalization of social and economic facts—which together constituted the background to the most recent transformations of the social sciences.5 For Touraine. For the purpose of the present reflection. and as an anthropology. tell us that society is too much a hypostatization. the problem of sociology is not that it is modern or modernist but that it is neither. This means that for Touraine. the story of sociology has really barely started. the sociological tradition becomes dominated by the idea of order rather than by the process of movement. general typologies that somehow manifest themselves . a view of the new. sociology missed its moment: the project of sociology froze at its inception. in a particular sense. yet it fixed its categories in ways that. as for Jürgen Habermas. If sociology is still the study of society. Bauman’s argument therefore suggests a very useful way to look back over sociology and its essential relation to modernism. which (to borrow from Habermas) is best briefly defined as the philosophical discourse of modernity. most famously in functional structuralism and then in marxist functionalism. rendered it incapable of addressing that change. then. and to puzzle over what comes next.98 Between Totalitarianism and Postmodernity need inevitably to do both together and not lose too much sleep over it. are the orienting concerns of sociology. it is the essay of Touraine that stands out. His own project works both as a sociology. It is schematic and mechanistic and therefore risks missing its vocation. this is the reason that Touraine is no ordinary fan of social movements but is rather a sociologist of action that movements can from time to time exemplify. the penetration of social change into everyday and private life. these. For Touraine.” Touraine’s claim is rather that.
this suggests that a great deal of argument remains to be had over matters of truth and method. and from the vantage point provided by our own moment—somewhere between totalitarianism and postmodernity—marxism has come unstuck. there are plain risks of particularism when analysis privileges the ideographic over the nomothetic. Though Touraine does not pursue the point here. whether French or Latin American. but this risks a consistent tendency to reification. marxists in sociology have tended to think nationally. who have always already been divided internally over history and theory. or Australia. his work is also deeply historical. At the same time. although Touraine’s own sociology is abundantly flexible when it comes to cases other than France. where it is the study not of the template but of change. Despite tokenistic genuflections toward the world system. then: with the unfolding of the twentieth century. Comparative sociology since Montesquieu has sought to overcome this dogma of the abstract but often at the cost of reproducing it. To summarize what I have said up to this point. The disciplinary message of Touraine’s essay is clear: sociology has in fact become the study of society. too. even if they have also added in useful notions of class contract or historic compromise. at the expense of the contingent. for example. viewing order as something more given to contestation and negotiation than merely rule-governed. it is the connection between them that I am interested in. the marginal. and the historical. those of America. sociology. Sociology’s limits have arguably been caught up with its tendency toward or weakness for modeling. To put it in different terms. therefore. have been so completely seduced by the image of the system and by its identification with the nation-state (peripheral critics of imperialism notwithstanding). and sociology has missed its mission. the limit has less to do with the hegemony of Talcott Parsons and/or the Pax Americana and is caught up with the terrorism of general theory. As I have indicated.Between Totalitarianism and Postmodernity 99 in concrete cases. the ephemeral. should return to its more radical impulse. Obviously the phenomena of marxism and sociology are not identical. of the nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is likely by its very logic to take us back to boxes and schemata and away from the insights that come from juggling similarity and difference. Part of the irony of this for marxists. I am not convinced that it is a bad thing that marxism returns to its cultural roots or now occupies the academy rather than the downtown party . a comparative sociology. Argentina. is that they.
the Eurocommunist Party in my hometown read the signs on the wall in 1984. fumbling for the map. without the dominant experience of slavery or civil war. it is surely no accident that the finest marxist work in historical sociology came early on from Trotsky. are unlikely to go for general models of order and subsystems. Those who grow up in the direct context of uneven development. Even though classical marxists like Karl Kautsky developed finely tuned sociologies. but its origins are penal rather than frontier. The project of sociology. however. These kinds of confusions and uncertainties are what have given rise. Now we feel (radicals in particular) considerably less clear about what it means to talk of interpreting the world. It is not obvious. for example. the view from the edge may be clearer. in 1905. Australia. II Those who come from the periphery will be likely to argue that it has its advantages. in other words. and from Gramsci. it has a new world society. Its story is highly peculiar by comparison with the modular modernity begotten of the formula posed by the French and Industrial Revolutions. Strangest of all. These questions have been in the making for some time. part industrial base. life is far more contingent. for example. to talk about the postmodern. by comparison. they tended to view societies in the modular sense. Like the United States. in The Southern Question. both more hostile and more elastic than that. Australia has managed to combine a culturally bourgeois superstructure with a premodern. is not the only antipode. as always. which Touraine criticizes. sociologists on the periphery are likely to begin with the sense that modernity is also largely dominated by tradition. Wits among our ranks have been heard to observe that places like Australia were postmodern before they were modern. it has been modernized culturally but not . To use a different language. is institutionally alive even if it is still. where. needless to say.100 Between Totalitarianism and Postmodernity headquarters. With reference to the weaknesses of mainstream sociology or marxism sketched out by Touraine. effectively shutting up shop and joining the now hegemonic Labor Party five years before the fall of the Berlin Wall. but it is the case I know. since the 1980s. by comparison. let alone changing it. not least of all in Australia. not only because our cultures are always hybrid and mixed but also because the antipodean experience of modernization has been highly uneven itself. that the postwar identification of modernity and modernization is dubious. that much more has changed since 1992 (or 1991).
more especially. and life in the universities and in criticism has been dominated by leftist intellectuals largely in sympathy with labor. How can we explain this process? Marx and the peripheral marxists offer some useful insights. so the superstructure is held up by a more developed industrial base. The Labor Party has been working an axis that combines dynamics of innovation and exhaustion. this is a striking case because. ironically. both social and economic policy have been bipartisan.6 Rather than postmodernizing. given to economic and social protection. In brief. Political life and marketing have been Americanizing for some time. applying the viewpoints . have set about the deregulation of economic policy with a vengeance but have followed a more benign course with reference to social policy. An agrarian-inspired labor movement has therefore been a major social actor throughout the twentieth century. economic and social policy have been following a similar path.Between Totalitarianism and Postmodernity 101 economically. These processes have not been subject to a great deal of sociological scrutiny in Australia. white Australian civilization is modernizing. has dominated Australian culture. This has partly to do with the unexpected nature of the process of change and partly reflects the relative weakness and modest profile of sociology and. Although the conservative parties dominated the directly political process until 1983. The awkwardness for the labor movement in this setting has been that its involvement in processes of radical change. by Australian standards. although party political life in the institutional sense has been predominantly conservative since federation in 1901. The sociological difference has been compounded by a political distinction. such as undoing economic protection. has also seen its capacity to hold onto traditional sources of identity diminished. with only a few clear ruptures along that path. undefeated now at the federal level since 1983. this has meant that successive labor governments. Again. since at least the 1950s. in any obvious sense. of historical sociology. For want of a better word or a more expressive symbol. the labor movement. Since the 1980s. The period of the last twenty years or so has been especially turbulent. proto-Keynesian and then Keynesian. as I have indicated. The argument I have put forward in Transforming Labor is that Australia has entered a period in which a major civilizational shift is occurring. it is Americanizing. because the now dominant Labor Party has sought to bring the marxian theorem back into balance. whereas America and Britain have been deregulated by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. the process of restructuring in Australia has been steered by an ostensibly social democratic party.
this is related in turn to the ways in which marxism is a modernizing current. the connections . then suburban. industrialization (and therefore industry development policy). in a sense. Its motifs have been rural. and so on). As I see it. the second evident in the sense that whatever else the Soviets did. the workers’ movement provides a contestatory utopia of socialism as modernization. craft-oriented.7 What is striking about the Australian experience is the relative absence of exactly this impulse and this utopia. this was. But the proletarian and communist utopia in France has been symbolically modernizing. after all. in this setting. Schillerian moment. nomadic. in part because of its privileged relationship to a dominant labor movement. for they came to the conclusion that the central imperative. Touraine’s French study The Workers’ Movement makes it plain that. became both accommodated to and enthusiastic for Promethean forms of development. in the East and the West alike. this time as a countercase. then. represents something like the modernizing of the labor movement and labor itself. without the bourgeoisie. romantic. argued that in the case of Anglo labor movements. historically it is the past that orients their activity in the present and their imaginary conceptions of the future. where Bauman. the Moscow Metro. then. the Australian Labor Party itself. why the Victorian communists liquidated into the Labor Party. that it has been the marxists and the former marxists emerging out of the Political Economy Movement and the metalworkers’ unions who have provided so much of the intellectual brief for modernization. the dominant ethos and culture of the labor movement has been more in line with Tönnies than Durkheim (both. the situation reminds us of the earlier work of Bauman. it is important to remember. like Craig Calhoun. then. could be effectively steered only though the major political party associated with the labor movement. Hitherto. they did modernize (observe the 1930s enthusiasm for megalomaniacal construction schemes.8 In Australia the period since 1983. paradoxically marxism has had an extensive sphere of influence in Australia. a parallel to that of the bourgeoisie—an image of capitalism. after its romantic. It is no accident.102 Between Totalitarianism and Postmodernity of Ferdinand Tönnies and Émile Durkheim can be employed as an interesting way to open up some of the romantic and modernizing tensions within the local labor movement. socialists). Touraine’s work is also helpful. Memories of Class. Surprisingly. Through these kinds of associations. in the French case. at this point. In Australia there are at least two vital mental connections to marxism—one to the fact that Marx’s own work.
From a local perspective.10 The scale of reference is more global as well as local. when the moment of modernization arrived with a vengeance into the 1980s. though critique of cities tends also too easily to dichotomize talk of cities and suburbs. These categories. with which it is culturally and empirically coextensive. and moderns. and not only modern. but it did. Cities are ancient as well. and welfare support. including high levels of public civility. though it necessarily uses pre-existing vocabularies to address these processes. even if we agree that modernization— social change—is in some ways simply inescapable. after all. In this way postmodern talk represents some sense of the urgency of change. where again the actual distinctions are less clear. in fact. The references to city and state are suggestive of different concerns. romantic.Between Totalitarianism and Postmodernity 103 become more apparent. its deregulation now coincides with globalization. are ex post facto constructions that consistently blur the way in which patterns of thinking from Rousseau to Marx crossed over these alleged boundaries. denying in the process that the peculiarly Australian version of the historic compromise achieved much at all. in a way this book is an attempt to think through what some of these civilizational changes mean. romantics are often also modernizers. City and State. In Postmodern Socialism I develop a kind of second-order argument around this theme. actual or desirable. backward-looking labor movement has a substantial cultural hold over a nation with a weak and dependent bourgeoisie. To make the obvious connection. One major problem from a leftist perspective is that to modernize labor tradition is also to empty it out. the problems are various. it was former communist advisers and policy makers who advocated industry development policy in particular and societal modernization policies in general. as well as being traditionalists. however. though (especially in Australia) politics is also teased into regionalism of . The points of connection back to Touraine are significant.9 An attendant problem that follows directly on from this is that deregulation of a hitherto protected culture often disregards its modest scale. achieve a great deal. favors the already strong. like free trade. The Australian economy is a small fish. for while economy and culture increasingly become global as well as vernacular or indigenized. which. The subtitle of Postmodern Socialism refers to three terms: “Romanticism. An agrarian. politics remains more governed by national referents. social cooperation.” Romanticism is drawn out as a complement to the Enlightenment. only the focus on state serves to signal its overshadowing by globalization. are often also postmodern.
This. My argument in Postmodern Socialism is that to return to questions of space. make it increasingly difficult to locate classes as national actors. Berlin. which is as active invisibly and locally as it is at formal state and federal levels. at the same . The disciplinary awkwardness in this. to some extent at least. and the Chicago School or. as though informal or underground economy were merely a traditionalistic residue (much in the way that marxists mistakenly treated the petty bourgeois and petty commodity production as leftovers of obsolete modes of production). The modernist gaze of mainstream sociology conventionally has behaved as though economy were public. Cities have been a major focus of sociology since Simmel. My own sense is that.104 Between Totalitarianism and Postmodernity a putatively transnational kind (in Australia “globalization” is a synonym for “Asianization”). as well as to questions of the acceleration of time as speed. looking at the city is one of the best ways to make sense of modernity. the realm of urban planning or of economic sociology. presumes the identity between society and nation that draws out Touraine’s criticism in “Is Sociology Still the Study of Society?” Processes of internationalization or globalization. together with examining other themes such as money. Connecting up the images of underground and state. that margins and the underground are. been guilty of mislocating the economy. say. for cities rest on undergrounds. has transformative effects again on the state. John Maynard Keynes. it now becomes increasingly significant to rethink the relationship between economy and state. both money and the city are extraordinarily rich indicators and expressions of modernity as ambivalence. and Talcott Parsons. in Henry Ford. even as globalization (like the world system of imperialism that preceded it) works directly through nation-states. is not viewed as a core expression of modernity so much as a subdisciplinary genre. The connection of the theme of the city to that of the state is more tenuous. presuming as it has that economic activity increasingly becomes legal and public as modernization proceeds. Modernist sociology has therefore. it is also important to think of cities hierarchically. assuming simultaneously that all subjects can be placed as (or raised to) modern citizens. is that the city. The modernist project. whether actual or metaphorical (and suburban or on the edge) or both (as is especially evident in places like New York City or Los Angeles). however. as exemplified. State structures are the victims of globalization. so to speak. dysfunctional rather than functional to modernity. finally. Engels and Manchester. and. To connect back to Bauman. earlier. however. like money.
For the left presumed that “change” was its prerogative. but it is no coincidence that the text for today is that line of Shakespeare’s The Tempest that arced through Thomas Carlyle to arrive in the Communist Manifesto and then became the emblematic title of Marshall Berman’s great book All That Is Solid Melts into Air. This is a cultural shift of political horizons. that radicals are also conservatives. however. . In the words of Marx. “The philosophers have interpreted the world. a fruitful text of the tradition. the point today is that the world is reaching a level of complexity and opacity in its relations such as to make leftist propositions for “change” irrelevant. III Thesis Eleven was formed in the period before these various tendencies became manifest or even were posited.Between Totalitarianism and Postmodernity 105 time. not least of all as a social model. For the century that ran roughly from 1880 to 1980. Change has gotten the better of us. we also chose it.11 The sentiment in Marx runs together with another. the reproduction of formal state activity depends on public revenue. as Bauman and Calhoun argued. in retrospect. as scholars and as citizens. is to change it. as the inhabitants of two-thirds of the world and the inhabitants of the underground in the first will tell you. the processes that go on behind our backs have left us to face what looks like a new world. Nevertheless. The argument of Postmodern Socialism. whose idea and whose title for the project this was. the image of the sorcerer’s apprentice. What has happened in the interim suggests that we misunderstood or misvalued exactly how central the facts of change were. is that while major civilizational shifts are occurring in Australia. marginalizing marxism as an independent tradition and helping to remind us. All that is now going or gone. bequeathed to us as a legacy by a friend of ours who died. then. and in choosing it we showed the period. Not because reforms are irrelevant. guided by notions of citizenship and economic integration through the public workings of the labor market and the nuclear family. The theses on Feuerbach remain. The choice of title itself was part accident. a modernist or liberal or social democratic consensus emerged in the West that the Social Question could be solved by social reform. which is inversely related to underground economic activity. maybe the youthful arrogance of the left. there is also a global shift beyond that usually associated with the idea of economic globalization.” But since the 1980s the world has changed beyond imagination. Sociologically speaking. the point.
especially in places like Australia. the result of too much pride and arrogance and imaginary independence. The redemptive or modernist illusion to which marxists clung imagined that this struggle could be overcome. marxism or its inheritors will likely remain a peripheral ideological presence among the outcasts of the world system. either. is in one way what we started with. (1995) . What we end up with. But yet. Globalization represents a will to power. Now it looks as hard as fate. may have lost its appearance of independence. but that was also illusory and proprietary. I have suggested. facing the millennium. to license economic imperatives above and beyond the realms of social policy. Where does this leave marxism as an ideology or as a theory? Inasmuch as globalization represents an extension of imperialism. a political choice. Marxism as a theory. it moves. as Marx read Hegel’s Phenomenology in 1844 and as we read Marx’s Manuscripts in the 1960s: a sense that the struggle of master and slave never ends—never triumphs but never ends.106 Between Totalitarianism and Postmodernity Nor is this to say that the processes of change that we gather under the category globalization are without author.
These arguments are developed in my book Postmodern Socialism. as in the redefinition of socialism as “democracy” or “civil society.” If we look at social democracy. that is. the widespread sense is likely closer 107 . among other things. The social question. is the question of the status of liberalism. what it raises. most people probably view capitalism and democracy as triumphant on a global scale. At least one thread of marxism still speaks to this: the image of master and slave that Karl Marx took up from Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. the identification of difference and struggle as both normal and desirable. social justice. or at least the problems grouped together under that term stubbornly persist. After 1989.1 That what is left of socialism after communism is liberalism is a sensibility that Francis Fukuyama only named. A more precise answer to the question might indicate that what we are left with is pluralism. Certainly there are strong indications of this. which called out socialism.Nine Socialism after Communism: Liberalism? What is left of socialism after the collapse of communism? That seems obvious: liberalism. remains. Indeed. Although all this seems neat enough. What is less apparent now is any sense that social engineering or social reform has a purpose or a feasibility. and citizenship draw together social liberalism and social democracy whether we talk of Eduard Bernstein and Leonard Hobhouse or of the later Keynesian consensus. its own politics were and are often indistinguishable from liberalism: notions of rights.
the vanguard party. meanwhile. Within the history of communism. Gramsci’s more expansive political sensibilities introduced into subsequent discussion notions such as “hegemony” and “historic bloc”. Vladimir Lenin was armed with the prosthetic device called the Party. took on this sense of spontaneism. still privileged . Bernstein wanted to pursue democracy.2 The Russian October Revolution changed all this. Social democracy. the proletariat would change the world. because the Bolsheviks dared to act more decisively. Bolshevism became a major actor. The political project of the SPD became the pursuit of an independent community across these arguments and reformist practices.E. and communism became a world power.108 Socialism after Communism to that of a residual muddling through. They had no internal empire to defend. This essay seeks to discuss and extend the common sense of the moment by contesting the obvious. the proverbial state within a state. For a part of Gramsci’s work in prison. The immediate legatee of marxism. Viewed theoretically.D. remains in the shadows. not a revolution-making one. only to revive in the West after fascism and alongside communism as an alternative form of administrative regime for the postwar West. maturation. The penultimate chapter of Marx’s Capital said so. August Bebel awaited socialism like the falling of ripe fruit. Karl Kautsky notoriously defined the SPD as a revolutionary party. yet the Modern Prince. the most fascinating and potentially fruitful of interludes that followed was that associated with the work of Antonio Gramsci. Classical marxism itself developed no sufficient theory of politics. so that Gramsci’s political theory embodies an unresolved tension between Bolshevism and democracy. They seized power and dismissed the Constituent Assembly. If Marx had no sufficient theory of politics. It is this that explains the great debates over Gramsci’s legacy into the 1980s. Bolshevism was primarily a theory of party that became a tyrannical practice of state. or fatalism. There began a long and unhappy story that ended (more or less) in 1989. Marx and Friedrich Engels defined the party as the class and imputed it a historic vocation. Rosa Luxemburg shared Marx’s sense that sooner or later the whole operation—via the working class-act—would collapse. was initially marginalized by this path of events. as though we can talk about social problems but not do anything about them. thinking practically. which meant in effect taking liberalism more seriously than earlier. Q. The twentieth century was arguably marxism’s century if we view marxism as the “other” of capitalism. in the form of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD).
he knew that classes could not be relied on to act politically. but not what would replace it.Socialism after Communism 109 the party form. social movements were increasingly constructed as potential actors. councils seemed anachronistic and romantic.” autonomy. perhaps. perhaps. They were always. that particular concrete organizations or institutions were necessary to this task. others began to defend the idea of civil society or the slogan of citizenship. but their utopias too often consisted of negation.6 More modestly. if they could. even if despite themselves. such as Anton Pannekoek. In the shadow of marxism there always stood the figure of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Socialism. Liberalism . marxism and liberalism began perhaps to renegotiate their initial terms of separation. it may also be an expression of the crisis we are living.3 Luxemburg. replaced the idea of socialism with the values of democracy. “radical democracy. Into the 1960s. as did Luxemburg. and opening the strategy in possibility that in their default the self-appointed representatives of public virtue could stand in for them. world denying and world affirming. whereas a warmer stream of his thought contributed to the more recent enthusiasm for social movements. for socialists in the twentieth century was the task of locating a revolutionary subject. it was presumed. Marx’s own great work indicated that commodity production had to go. parties bureaucratic and paternalistic. Leading radical thinkers. Lenin was a better sociologist. from Jürgen Habermas to Cornelius Castoriadis to Agnes Heller. Marxists. utopian. historically. as he did in History and Class Consciousness. however. and the early Gramsci all maintained some connection with the spirit of Marx’s spontaneism.5 More pressing.4 Lenin’s great contribution was to indicate that socialism might look like the post office. The path of the century that brought marxist politics to a close thus apparently resulted in the confirmed politics of liberalism. would lie somewhere between not-capitalism and better-than-capitalism. the Council Communists. They focused on the putative instrument more than the goal. it took Georg Lukács to formalize the claim that the proletariat was epistemologically privileged. thinking that good people would change the world. Into the 1980s. On a scale of closer to two centuries than one. So what is left of socialism? Liberalism? To the extent that this is true. Radicals could still combine marxist political economy with a liberal superstructure. Marx privileged the proletariat. preferred to evade the question of what form the good society might take.
monocultural.8 Of course. not juxtapositions of static imaginary modes of production. Hobhouse could allow this but not the more corporative identification of state and society. wrote extensively about trade unions and conducted social research into the household. refers to the place of the social against individualism. but it is not less problematic. not capitalism. in his Principles of Political Economy. the whole idea of lonely individuals somehow miraculously contracting with the “state” begins to look vaguely comical. nevertheless working within a tradition shaped by positivism and utilitarianism. These are arguments about how we choose to live.110 Socialism after Communism can quite easily be defended as less dangerous than marxism. Once these latter are added in. and insufficiently complex in its imaginary form. but there are more than persons in societies. and so on. It has no distinct personality separate from and superior to those of its members. that it is only on this foundation that a true community can be built”.9 Perhaps the Fabians did better here precisely to the extent that they were sociological thinkers. The Fabians. Hobhouse began to discuss voluntary association. In Liberalism. or. Even “liberal socialists” like Hobhouse have bent this way. Hobhouse’s argument is shadowed by the idea of voluntary association. against the imaginary Hegel in the margin: “Society consists wholly of persons. concerned with the web of associative and institutional forms within which social life . social movements. it was of its moment. these are moral and normative vocabularies. not originally arguments about productivity or economic efficiency. Socialism semantically opposes individualism. Later on in the text. Liberalism’s great weakness in this regard is its insufficiently socialized conception of action. it was not yet strikingly modern. Hobhouse favored the individual even as he argued the centrality of society: “Liberalism is the belief that society can safely be founded on this self-directing power of personality. for example. the social is not an absolute absence. Earlier. networks. state and citizen. even if Mill also took seriously economic classes. religious or ethnic groups. corporate actors such as firms and unions. there are groups. Liberal thinking typically rests on one hypostatized couplet: individual and society. central liberals such as John Stuart Mill had also focused on the dyad state and citizen. families. political parties.”7 Perhaps the latter is so. so community came to work largely as a synonym for society. organizations. they invoke attitudes about social forms. not measures of economic output. semantically. Part of the problem with Hobhouse’s text is that although it was more social than many liberalisms. if not quite liberals. Socialism.
On this view. Not all liberals will be individualists. the good society could be conceived only as a community. is not just liberalism with a social twist or result. So Richard Tawney. in this regard. there are only citizens. i. where individuals wear the character masks ascribed them by class relations. those who cannot support themselves: infants. in The Eighteenth Brumaire or Capital. although obligation can also be limited to obligation to individuals or to the state on their behalf. In Marx this sense was usually overstated. Yet it nevertheless seems to be the case that within mainstream liberal thinking. where individuality makes sense only in terms of the ensemble of social relations. even if social liberals and social democrats are often difficult to separate practically. but they will tend to begin from claims regarding the individual and at most will add in society when it comes to complementing notions of obligation with those of right. Socialism. argued as had others that socialism was the next phase that might fulfil the promise of the French Revolution. or. as Hobhouse warned. for example. the reductio ad absurdum implied by state and citizen is always present. But more severely. social democrats think in terms of community.10 Social liberalism starts from these different premises. or later. a community . in the Sixth Thesis on Feuerbach or the Paris Manuscripts. Our formation and the conduct of our lives is irredeemably social and sociologically thick. and makes specific allowances that might materially or spiritually support weaker individuals. of individuals thrown together. more obscurely.Socialism after Communism 111 actually occurs..e. species being. even if they also allow community to be overdetermined by class. For we act as individuals only within the fabric and dependency of all those institutions and are placed within them by the accident of birth. But there have always been other socialists alongside the marxists. social democracy in its richest version is to be located in the German tradition associated with classical marxism. first—to begin from the premise that there are only social individuals—is not a defining feature of the liberal tradition. the infirm. As I have argued elsewhere. For better or worse. To place the social thus. those without hope. If there is no state qua state. in the 1929 lectures that became the text Equality. in our context. It is not a bizarrely long jump from this graphic mess of individuals to the proposition that there is no such thing as society. is a tradition related to but different from liberalism. there is a foreshortening here of everyday life itself. and they too have argued this sensibility in different ways. in short. Socialism.
as Zygmunt Bauman has argued.13 The image of the collective laborer haunts the pages of Capital but does not deeply inform its logic. for example. The anthropology of wholeness that Marx inherited from Friedrich Schiller and that explained the possibility of alienation posits as ideal an imaginary person who is whole and independent. and culture. in the idea fundamental to Capital that exchange relations are vitally relations of loss. H. the legacy of the Frankfurt School for Social Research took on the Lukácsian premise of a privileged proletarian agent. and parties that actually work on their behalf. who began from social premises. for Marx. Between state and citizen orthodox marxism placed classes. This way of thinking is still evident in Marx’s later work. had also earlier insisted on pluralist arguments concerning the composition of social arrangements. the proletariat that Marx constructed as a modernizing actor often rather carries a communitarian memory and pathos. such as Cole and Harold Laski. too. remains more thoroughly individualist than is often thought. For although it sought to theorize family. Cole. media. and the third term became the first. Similarly. This raises the question of a significant tension between Marx and his followers. and state that had made Hobhouse twitch. D. society.11 Yet both communitarians like Tawney and early guild socialists like G. family form remains marginal. for the various socialists. But these are general problems to do with the increasing presence of the state into the twentieth century. and classes remain conceived as though they are actors rather than the organizations. then dropped . the focus on so-called public economy replays the bourgeois occlusion of household economy.12 Although all these English arguments are shadowed by the desire for simplicity and by the relative fact of monoculturalism. unions. in marxist argument. they do in common nevertheless presume that it is social relations that come first rather than social contracts between imaginary individual actors in a society whose relations are constructed ex post facto and without proper respect for the household or the private sphere let alone for other forms of voluntary association. The irony for marxists is that this sense of plurality is something their own tradition never caught up on. were vulnerable with the passing of time and the rise of organized labor to the association of community. Further. and the state fared little better. Classes.112 Socialism after Communism bonded by solidarity through service. for whom the local was preeminent. Individuals largely disappeared from marxist theory.14 Even critical theory fared no better in this regard. often thus stand in for community or communities.
Sociology viewed as a national politics of reform and civics seems also to be passing. sometimes even Promethean. self-forming. would be harmonious. The twentieth century was arguably the century of socialist presence. everywhere. Hegel’s dialectic is one of the most often revived of symbols. more like the Gemeinschaft of Ferdinand Tönnies than his Gesellschaft. on the other the atom.16 However. which Marx reconsidered in the Paris Manuscripts. not least of all in our own times. Socialism has thus ceased. not least of all because of globalization or the will to globalize. often simpler. totalitarianism. In order to rethink this. mobile and fluid. a process of conflict and struggle. as the short century 1914–89. it was imagined. as we know. The society of the future. Modernity. symbolically. that today we feel compelled to celebrate the individual and defend the individual against violation. like Richard Rorty. Socialism emerged as the name for a process. selfregulating. whatever else it has been. The idea that socialism might be a condition or a place rather than the name of a process of struggle also became dominant in Marx’s work. Critical theory. when talk is frequently influenced by notions of the need for recognition. there is even more at risk than this. Little wonder that we should feel backed into liberalism. Socialism. because we dislike cruelty. is now apparently over. in which wars and revolutions resulted in a postwar Western sense that social progress was nevertheless still possible. And the twentieth century has been an age of disaster. this time presenting the standoff as that between man and mass. it is necessary to return to Hegel’s dialectic of master and slave. then. is the age of the subject. Thus the Frankfurt School turned from sociology to philosophy. Little surprise. As class politics has receded. Talk of recognition thus often coincides with problems of narcissism. initially to be replaced by the politics of social movements. still. all that goes in between. contingent. real or incipient. narcissistic. juxtaposed against that which we know as capitalism. ending like other projects in expelling the social. today. then. so . to refer to a realizable project or an imaginary state of affairs that can abstractly be opposed. turned to its own variant of state and citizen. corpses piling higher on corpses.Socialism after Communism 113 class analysis altogether when the proletariat failed to rise to the occasion.15 On one side Behemoth. the idea that humans together could renegotiate and reform social relations so that inequality could be minimized and citizenship encouraged. Behemoth and corpses. whether we date it from the emergence of the social question to the events of 1989 or construct it more compactly.
but to the liberals who thought they knew better. Identity thus occurs within asymmetrical relations of power that are constantly subject to renegotiation. For if they were to be achieved. by comparison. and ethnic groups in the politics of multiculturalism. Modern politics. The politics of recognition does not refer clinically to a process in which one individual forms an abstract relation with another. The significance of the dialectic of master and slave is rather that it contextualizes culture within power.114 Socialism after Communism has antistatism revived the politics of civil liberties. and history. Socialism therefore continues to remain one point of orientation in radical politics when it reminds us that the point is to struggle. to reform the world. but not only it. within . is that history is struggle. an open codicil. to follow our values regardless of whether we believe that they might ever be realized. contrary to Fukuyama. and so would life. at least until recently. and politics with it. the struggle would be over. not as models of conditions actually to be achieved. recalling Michel de Montaigne. it is the journey. or prehistory. The point. John Stuart Mill. Workers and capitalists engage in different kinds of struggles that shift. then. Utopias need to be defended as historically competing hopes for the good society. but they also need to do more than this. as do races. John Maynard Keynes. Modern politics still presumes that politics also occurs in public spheres. not the arrival that matters. Liberalism cannot help us here. Let us leave the last word not to the marxists. never ends. based on the individualism of incommensurable difference. for it lapses back at best into varying sensibilities suggestive of the struggle between individual and state but not between all the various groups of actors within which we actually find ourselves located as social individuals. What is called postmodern politics. as in the case of Jean François Lyotard. within the relations of sexual politics. and William Beveridge all left space. regions. As Leonard Woolf put it. for this kind of defensive or minimal politics can only then protest further against cruelty against the state. a bad utopia. rested on senses that individual identities are socially formed and marked and thereby drawn together by similarity of experience or interest as well as spaced out by difference. could ever come to an end. What comes after communism might then include liberalism. however. Humans need to say no. is often a minimal politics of self-defense against Power. The prospect of perfect harmony is illusory. Marx was willful to imagine that history. so do men and women.
Socialism remains. After communism. a practical question.18 (1996) . in this sense and as Marx understood. in which case it would be necessary to take more seriously the arguments associated with socialism. that perhaps their own traditions would not suffice. is a process without end. as they understood.17 This. This is the political legacy of socialism. we return not to liberalism but to history. in which we cannot reasonably expect to anticipate outcomes yet fully to be shaped.Socialism after Communism 115 their writings.
taking in social developments across Western Europe. placing demands on the reader’s physique as well as on his or her intellect and time schedule.Ten Socialism in Europe—after the Fall One hundred years of socialism . for this book should be compulsory and compulsive reading for all of us who care about these topics. as if spoken by a lonely. even if it is a phone book of a thing. less in that its geographical vista is tighter and its claims to encyclopedia status are more modest. but one hundred years of socialism. D.1 resonate. this extraordinary phenomenon that changed everything and then. How could all this be possible? What is and was the phenomenon of socialism. 116 . these words. and what are its legacies and consequences for the grimmer times we now apparently inhabit? These are the kinds of issues opened up by Donald Sassoon. seemingly. Not a hundred years of socialism. and less. probably we have seen little like it since G. H. or a hundred years of struggle. though Sassoon’s book is also more. the one and yet the many expressing somehow in minimal eloquence the grandeur and twilight of this great movement and ideology. which make up the title of Donald Sassoon’s recent book. . physically massive. More in that its scope is more sociological. disappeared into the cultures from whence it emerged. One Hundred Years of Socialism is a brilliant book. . Cole’s multivolume History of Socialist Thought. All of which is to say that its publication is a major event. Magrittelike voice in the solitude of an empty room.
Now the view has altered. embodied in the Italian “historic compromise” and the French Common Program. emerging as the great hybrid hope of that period. The symbolic collapse of socialism per communism in 1989 is an obvious marker even if. 1978). The Italian Communists Speak for Themselves (which he edited. The Italian Communist Party (PCI) was a communist party without parallel.Socialism in Europe 117 So who is Donald Sassoon. (Remember Eurocommunism?) Radical hopes on the left were rekindled from England to Melbourne in Australia and the San Francisco Bay Area in the United States around the new spark of life given to the old and elusive idea of a “third way. For Eurocommunism. So they met. looked like a way out of the impasse then. social democrats have always played a cool hand at inventing traditions. or monographic. these are perhaps already symptomatic of some positions and curiosities. these most revolutionary of political advocates. Read as signs. and what is his project? Sassoon’s earlier work has been just as exceptional as what we see in this book. and the story of Italian communism from Antonio Gramsci to Enrico Berlinguer is one of the most extraordinary of such stories in Italy or elsewhere. after the hope of Eurocommunism and the anger or mourning of loss. to anticipate the Second International a neat century after the obvious symbolic marker of their time. Like fascists and other political moderns. Eurocommunism. with the foundation of the Second International in Pigalle in 1889. and Contemporary Italy (1986). Socialists. Charting the Terrain One Hundred Years of Socialism is an expansion of this optic throughout Western Europe and the twentieth century. then. have of course always also been deeply traditionalistic. but the interpretative puzzles remain. Into the 1970s the Italian party became conceptually syncretized with the Spanish and French Communist Parties. from the Resistance to Historic Compromise (1981). What went wrong. its precise interpretation is less obvious or apparent. Sassoon chose to begin his story a clear century earlier. Sassoon sets his markers around a neat century.” an alternative not only to capitalism and communism but also to the inertia of social democracy and the brutality of Soviet communism. though hitherto its nature has been more particular. and what went right? Looking back now. as Sassoon knows. Thus Sassoon’s project might be located in these kinds of matrixes of hope and fear. His previous books include The Strategy of the Italian Communist Party. for Sassoon is plainly an Italianist by trade. the .
one hundred years after October). however. revolution and reform nestle together like jealous siblings both loved yet spleenful. in turn. the dream of peaceful transition. inseparably. until that centenary.118 Socialism in Europe great French Revolution. the desire for ruptural change. All the tensions that were to hold up modern socialisms in effect were already there. that the idea of socialism was generated not by those whom we today think of as the absolutely wretched of the earth but by the skilled and by their articulate middle-class allies. the simpler slogan of a better life. Thus the further apparent irony. Communism. including socialists. what might be called Gramscian sensibilities. There has always been a degree of intellectual conceit in that middle-class critical rejection of modernity that has remained formal and rhetorical. the great Russian experiment was likely to set history back by a hundred years (but is it still too long for us to wait? perhaps. for better and for worse. I take Sassoon to be arguing—and in this I think he is correct—that while the twentieth century is the great century for capitalism. and we now know that the left’s achievement was greatest exactly during the golden age of capitalism between 1945 and 1975. These are. Capitalism held up socialism. Yet Gramsci remained a residual Leninist. as reform rather than as Jacobin tragedy. And Gramsci knew that although tradition was always behind us. that the wretched of Europe needed more modernity rather than less. is exactly that the great success of socialism was as the legacy of the French Revolution. The hope for apocalypse. The great irony in this for those. right to follow the tradition that aligns socialism with the French Revolution as much as the Russian. For the logic of Sassoon’s book. As Sassoon puts it. notwithstanding various more recent attempts to turn him into a historically misplaced member of the Birmingham School of Cultural Studies who accidentally strayed into Turin. and that socialists needed to develop arguments not for disorder but rather for a new order. who are used to simpler dichotomies. one as alter ego to the other even if now dismissed. this time read. Not least of all because. not progress. I think. in a sense. we now know that the left offered up the first political casualties of capitalist crisis in the 1930s. launched from the comfort of well-padded armchairs in the centers at the expense of those without shirts or shoes. The location is useful. For Gramsci knew that instability fed reaction. as Max Weber is reputed to have said to Georg Lukács. modernity was perpetually before us. which Sassoon notes. now it refuses. is that the two run together. became an ideology of modernization. it is also the century of socialism. a point widely . Sassoon was. in a way.
the international system. this time the Gramsci who put it profoundly that to write the history of a party is like writing the history of a country from a monographic point of view. the overarching curiosity about modernity is another. widely discredited on the bogus grounds that it was a throwback. Rather. And. the past. Sassoon behaves like an historian. and social movements also suggests that this project works as a sociology more than as a strict analysis of socialisms. His book is not. for example. In other words. Questions of inclusion and exclusion in a work of this strength and significance are likely to become trivial. Sassoon acknowledges the inspiration of Gramsci again here. women. the nation-state. its key concerns are with the Western European socialist parties in comparative perspective through the postwar boom. whereas both these experiences actually need to be conceptualized as alternative modernities. the larger issue is that capitalism and socialism jostle and mingle together as modernity. he insists. women figure so prominently in a history of socialism (not feminism) is one source of curiosity. a history of socialist ideas. is the question of why fascist parties that also constructed mass or labor movements are largely marginal to the analysis. This insight may be more pertinent to Italy than to other cases in which the experience of communism or social democracy was more marginal. The stress on comparison is one aspect of this. he indicates. This is an important issue. so to be clear about the text as we enter it. the labor market. only partly resolved. a way out of modernity rather than through it. dominant ideologies. As Sassoon indicates in introducing his narrative. yet the issue as to why.2 But Sassoon’s canvas is not quite global. the detail and intensity of analysis in his book escalates after 1945. both fascism and communism are still often misunderstood as premodern or antimodern.Socialism in Europe 119 acknowledged but insufficiently contemplated. nor is it comprehensive. I think. It is not only the case that the Soviet path became a model for a kind of authoritarian or primitive modernization. the curiosity about. for example. For communism is still. while another. in Sassoon’s view of the century. and even a sociologist would have properly to deal with beginnings. Yet Sassoon is a historian. if not silly. an anachronism. it is a comparative history of West European socialist parties in the contexts they faced—capitalist development. as we shall see later. too. yet the net effect of his book is something we encounter as more like sociology. What it means for One Hundred Years . because he knows that socialism is caught up with modernity. nor is it a history from below of the movements themselves.
By 1914 the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) had a million members and a clever program that bridged reform and revolution by accommodating both of them. and Karl Kautsky ruled the International. they nevertheless developed sophisticated social theories. were too busy acting elsewhere to develop stronger theoretical claims. in part. thus do utopias become enacted. less as the grandiosity of Jacobin social engineering than as the incremental politics of reformism that go together with economic growth. meantime. and the issue of Sorel’s filiation into fascism. in the first place. because there is no necessary causal link between socialism and the rise of the labor movement. as I have shown in Labour’s Utopias. Their transformation into parties of government was gradual. Through the entire period up to 1914. Sassoon argues that socialism virtually invented the proletariat as the political class necessary to its own desires. It is difficult. In addition. in wondering why France. he sidesteps the figure of Georges Sorel. socialist parties remained firmly committed to the politics of opposition. produced no marxist theorists of the calibre of Kautsky and Eduard Bernstein. Marxism then became dominant as the smartest kind of socialist ideology. is difficult. But this. The Fabians. And what a transformation this was. to marxism’s propensity to privilege the image of the revolutionary proletariat as the universal subject of history. for example. The widespread tendency to identify socialism and the labor movement may be connected.3 If Fabianism became the de facto collective consciousness of British laborism. Germany then ruled the new Second International. Thinking back on these matters. hiding behind the shared cultural mythos of pragmatism or practicalism. enough to keep the intellectuals off the street. the minimalist demands of the SPD meantime anticipated the basic features of the postwar welfare states.120 Socialism in Europe of Socialism is that Sassoon was writing the history of Western Europe from the perspective of the history of the Western European Left. marxism was capable both of incredible theoretical sophistication. for the shift . Karl Kautsky’s summa of this wisdom out of the Erfurt Program in The Class Struggle was translated into sixteen languages before 1914. for it combined the best available theory of exploitation with the best available theory of history. like every beginning. though perhaps not just in the way that Sassoon portrays it. peaking through and especially after the Second World War. shortterm reformism coupled with long-term apocalypse blended neatly into maturational reformism. and of being translated powerfully into the context of life on the factory floor. The other socialists lived in the shadows of the Germans.
as I have outlined with Mark Considine and Rob Watts in Arguing about the Welfare State. too. Still there were other voices. Whatever else their contemporaries thought about the Bolsheviks. of course. The real achievement of the SPD. Nor was it any accident that these experiences were notionally connected through colonial traffic like that of Fabians such as Maud and William Pember Reeves from New Zealand to London. Thus. for what Rudolf Hilferding called “organized capitalism” came too readily to accommodate not only the forces of socialism but also those of its mortal enemies. Although the Soviet experiment then became the major imaginary of socialist thought as well as its modern historic crucible.Socialism in Europe 121 from a politics of negation to one of affirmation was massive. Only this. Australia and New Zealand. everything changed after October 1917. Planning. From Sorel and Gramsci to Bernard Shaw. they clapped. Settler capitalist labor movements. Political Parties. was the Weimar Republic. but for many it will be difficult not to think here of Roberto Michels and his masterly study of 1915. between 1932 and 1938 the Swedish social democrats practically laid the foundation for what would become the West European conception of social democracy after the Second World War: the compromise between labor and capital. as Sassoon observes. the SPD could and did claim that the Erfurt Program had been incorporated into the new constitution. had become a new orthodoxy. Sassoon does not make the connection. wide-eyed. was something like defeat in victory. it may also be worth adding that similar visions were not only constructed and informed ideologically by other experiences. the reformists meantime plodded on. they were mesmerized by their capacity to act. Michels is a useful symbolic connection here not only because he also took that extraordinary and fascinating personal shift from left to right but in addition because he anticipated the argument that in the SDP’s great success its failure could already be discerned. like those whom Sassoon groups together as the “neosocialist” planners. As Sassoon observes. however. fraught with danger as well as offering great promise. meantime. they were also lived out in the so-called social laboratory offered by the antipodes. again. Although it is beyond the scope of Sassoon’s argument. If 1914 changed the world for socialist internationalism.4 The lives of the peripheries always also affect those of the centers. stunned and beguiled by the cheek of the Bolsheviks. with a welfare state and full employment. including those of socialists like the Fabians. in matters of socialism too. . were at the forefront of innovation. into the new century. serving rather than snatching.
The fascist emphasis on action and will resembled Bolshevism. the old idea that the left-right spectrum actually links together. the converse is not. So where does the left start and the right end? Sassoon acknowledges the problems here. both moral and intellectual. after all. the first evident in the hostility to parliamentary forms.122 Socialism in Europe This may be as close as Sassoon gets to the important problem of leftright collusion or coalescence. it is not so obvious that fascism should be excluded . for example. He claims in passing that no leading social democrat or communist joined the Nazis in Weimar Germany. modernization theory. the “anti-socialist” polemicists who allude to convergences in the totalitarian mind. but he passes on the opportunity to push further.6 Sassoon agrees that there is a problem here. so might it be possible to construct a socialist argument that connects Jacobinism in the manner of Bolshevism with something like fascism. and even Nazis like Joseph Goebbels were affected by marxism in various different ways. that the British fascist leader Oswald Mosley was also in an earlier life a labor minister and observes the Nazi leader Gregor Strasser’s enthusiasm for public works. Linke Leute von rechts. They were also bound together by larger cultural enthusiasms such as mass mobilization and eugenics. To put it more bluntly. built mass movements and constructed economic and social programs that in many ways resembled those of Stalinism. for example. a still “insufficiently lit danger spot” connecting the extremities of left and right. even at the expense of being perhaps provocative. He notes. But various others also acted them out. around the back. Friedrich Hayek or Karl Popper.5 while for his part Zeev Sternhell has upset the neatness of left-right cleavages in his major work Birth of Fascist Ideology. but if that is true. say. More generically or analytically speaking. Let me offer to push a little more here instead. as did Benito Mussolini himself. so to speak. Just as many socialists today would look with less hostility than hitherto on some aspects of the work of. the second manifest in the enthusiasm for planning. Sassoon dismisses too readily. as many today might say. Fascisms. it could certainly be argued that left and right coalesced together into the 1930s around two points of political and economic affinity. but he does not much probe them. manifesting itself also as far away as France and England in the work of Émile Durkheim and John Maynard Keynes. published a booklength study in 1960 concerning exactly the idea of left actors who came from the right. Probably it was Hendrik de Man who best exemplified these kinds of fatal contradictions. and the idea of the organic or corporate state was no right-wing monopoly. Otto Schuddekopf.
Manchester species of marxism.7 The Belgian Workers Party. But it was also the case that not all the news of the period was this cheerless. emphatically. before Auschwitz it simply meant other things. Cole. all in the name of some sort of socialism or other. for critical marxism. should we be too surprised by the news. Thus it is no surprise. announcing that it was “the German form of socialism. not least of all as the “Southern Question. in Preussentum und Sozialismus. like Otto Bauer. with an introduction by G.” Perhaps it is unfair to observe that more than Gramsci could realize. his thinking in prison also began to open up out onto those demanding challenges of modernity that Sassoon insists frame our lives. was the considerable embarrassment caused by the likes of Vladimir Lenin. D. Only Sassoon here exclaims. in 1935. Even if. encapsulated this awkwardness in their 1933 call for le socialisme national. in this light. of Americanism and Fordism. as Sassoon reports it. and everybody argued for planning. We should not be at all shocked by the idea of national socialism before 1933.” Oswald Spengler anticipated the argument way back. Italian fascism was certainly a hybrid form. Reactionary Modernism. International socialism at the formal or diplomatic level collapsed in 1914. and vice versa. especially . that the Fabian Society published the Belgian Henri de Man’s Plan van den Arbeid. the United States would also ever be hamstrung by the consequences of its own southern question.Socialism in Europe 123 from the labor movement story once Stalinism is included. as a choice between the good German socialism and a nasty utilitarian. beyond technocracy whether Bolshevik or social democratic. American culture was more open to modernity because it was less constrained by the kinds of traditionalism that Italy had yet even fully to recognize. In any case. arguably. Leon Trotsky. H.8 Not all claims to socialism have come from our side of the fence. And these were. yet in a different sense obviously or necessarily national movements. in retrospect. “in 1933!” as though this would have seemed odd in a world where communist street gangs beat up Nazis. and Gramsci arguing that for socialists factory civilization was a good thing. as Sassoon observes. the result. Gramsci was perhaps too much a cultural product of the old game. For Gramsci understood the centrality of the American experience of modernity. and Nazism contained clear components of anticapitalist romanticism as well as of the technological imperatives described by Jeff Herf in his study of the field. Austromarxism arguably got about as close as Gramsci did to arguments for the third way. that de Man finally became a supporter of Nazism. Nor.
this at the very moment when output was approaching cornucopia levels and Fordism truly arrived in the suburbs. It could perhaps be said that both fascism and communism resulted in the mutual ruin of the contending forces. one understood what freedom in America meant. had been adopted. and especially criticism. Italian. America won the war of ideology in the supermarket. and unwinding. delivered by the 1957 Chevrolet. and Palmiro Togliatti was to celebrate polycentrism in the wake of Nikita Khruschev’s denunciation of Stalin. fishing. for this indeed was the epoch of “miracles. when the credibility of capitalism slumped. which had nowhere led the antifascist struggle. sugar coated by Hollywood and symbolically represented on television serials. had been designed to . from this point. consolidation. the results were similar.” Japanese. In Europe it meant other things. There was another nail in the coffin of communism. the vital impetus of early Bolshevism was spent by World War II. Paradoxically. Now we enter the period of success. but neither. then. planomania. equally miraculous. In ideological terms. Before long Joseph Stalin was to close up the Comintern. in a sense emerged into the hiatus that followed the war and this mutual grander exhaustion. following Bolshevization and the Twenty-one Conditions of the Comintern. no matter how much some of their number were given to fantasies about images of the good life spent in hunting. Khruschev had dreamed that the Soviets would outdo the Americans by outproducing them. capitalism’s independent claim to generate the good society was retrospectively in discredit. the playing out of socialism’s great influence into the golden age. after Stalingrad. now forgotten in the wake of 1989. For marxists were also modernists. in the strict sense. Mexican. herding. Whether propelled by Fiat or Detroit. the Second World War was continuous with the Depression and its unexpected result. Communist parties. and other. then Brazilian. As Sassoon says. After Bolshevism As far as Western Europe was concerned. For this was also the remarkable moment. consumerism had arrived.124 Socialism in Europe if one came from Naples or Siberia. once “polycentrism. was there any longer a need for distinct communist parties. socialism. there was no real need for a revolutionary international. the focus of this particular set of stories shifts more principally to cover the social democratic traditions that dominated the scene after 1945.” or the idea of national roads. As somebody once said—was it Robert Hughes in American Visions?—when one saw those cars.
For this was a moment when national-patriotic identity went to the left. founded in 1920. and even cultural apparatchiks and entrepreneurs. dissolved back into the Australian Labor Party in 1984. its origins lie with Germany. The postwar period made the PCI respectable. This was exactly the story as it unfolded. compulsory national insurance and health insurance. both of them characteristically open to the intellectual possibility of socialism if politically skeptical about its independent feasibility. But the practical victory for socialists and labor was largely fuelled by social liberalism. intellectuals and workers. per Keynes and Beveridge. of course. as Sassoon argues. again. If Sassoon’s own chosen century began in 1889. and this. to act as combat parties rather than as passive if positive countercultures in the manner of the SPD. The confluence of factors. where the PCI has been more like a labor party than anything else. in Australia. all this reflected precisely the amazing unpopularity of capitalism everywhere in Europe immediately after the war. if the contemporary idea of the welfare state is something we associate with Britain or Sweden. The most brilliant yet ordinary strategy of class alliance came to fruition. Between 1945 and 1950. Plainly the story is different in Italy. where the Communist Party. but with its Bismarckian initiatives well before Lloyd George’s national if partial insurance scheme of 1911. If. . More. and a massive housing program. and. The welfarist consensus was contested. this was a period when mainstream sensibilities moved left.” For even Churchill argued for full employment. it was not only the voice of William Beveridge but that of Winston Churchill that in 1943 advocated support “from the cradle to the grave. for example. other connected stories opened just after that. yet it was powerful for all that. should not surprise us too much. not a single pro-capitalist liberal party was elected to government anywhere in Europe. communist parties were moribund. and Christian democrats did as much as social democrats to web out the welfare net. social democracy was again sufficient to steer national politics. in the form of Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum and its associated Catholic radical streams around distributism. as both workers and a globalizing new middle class take their votes elsewhere. as Sassoon reminds us. as it did the British Labor Party and its Australian equivalent. now. is what we have lost in the meantime. a “broad church” capable of holding together Catholics and communists. even in response to the politics of the labor movement.Socialism in Europe 125 do what socialist parties could not—to seize power.
once achieved. and as though we could remain there. such that into the 1960s it momentarily seemed plausible that Bernstein had been right after all: there was some kind of process of socialization from within under way. Yet many socialists simultaneously remained attached to the sense that. Such longer-term species of paradox coexisted with more immediate kinds. to follow “socialist” policies it was essential to be pro-capitalist. would be so conspicuously superior a state of affairs as to remain unchallenged. At the same time. often behaved as though it were capitalism that was revolutionary and dynamic even if crisis prone. they too were living out of the shadows of war and the Great Depression. while capitalism as we knew it was sloppy. and know it. In order to pay for social welfare. Sassoon makes the conceptual connection more explicably on some occasions than others. had to come to grips with the fact that capitalism and reformism were symbiotic. Karl Marx’s own fundamental ambivalence in the critique of political economy echoed across the radical common sense of our century: capitalist dynamism was the great incipient hope. capitalism would not sufficiently modernize. but they were equally puzzling as his theorems concerning defeat in victory or victory in defeat. and the golden age. As Sassoon puts it more sharply. it was imperative that markets be made as efficient as possible. whether by the accumulation of reforms or by some other imagined route. left on its own. was the most exceptional of epochs.126 Socialism in Europe That social democrats were unable to generate new and vital positions in this situation is hardly surprising to readers of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. socialism could be conceived as an end state. disorganized. Marxists. Even the period’s leftist enthusiasm for nationalization was based on the sense that. one we are unlikely to relive again after any obvious fashion. These were not the high dramatic kinds of ironies of history contemplated by Bolshevik scholars like Isaac Deutscher. whereas socialism would be still and calm and. its relation to capitalism remains as necessary as it may be enigmatic. hopeless. If socialism really is to be understood as a phenomenon of modernity. liberals at least. as though we could arrive there. we were all (again) socialists now. Thus socialist parties. as most critical commentators now seem to agree. finally. we understand too late. Though Marxists then willfully dismissed the older idea that socialism was best defined . for their part. these fears were to open up into more positive expectations. more specifically social democratic parties. Thus it seems a little harsh for Sassoon to characterize postwar leftists’ fears of further depression as “pessimistic” and “erroneous’.
if we were to put it differently. and in sympathy with the work of Arnold Toynbee or the antipodean theorist Bernard Smith. Perhaps they could not do otherwise. Not that socialists were not also internationalists. only later to be formalized in famous contemporary texts like Herbert Marcuse’s One Dimensional Man. they were also colonialists by virtue of the same civilizational fact. the processes of globalization will always be uneven. often took the form of local opposition to the Americanization of society. so do socialisms project backward and forward at the same time that they accommodate . then. he revives the theme of modernity in the claim that in Europe the left-wing struggle against consumerism. Certainly sociologists such as Zygmunt Bauman. they were also frequently colonialists. of course. and Craig Calhoun.10 have argued the point that socialism is deeply traditionalistic and even in a technical sense reactionary. we must not forget. claiming to represent the communitarianism of the lost past against the corrosive acids of modernity. even if Eurodisney is a flop. yet the complicity of modernity in colonialism itself could not prevent socialists from the same kinds of racism and elitism. as Sassoon reminds us. within the practical and conceptual constraints that modernity carries. When Sassoon turns. to the discussion of revisionism between 1950 and 1960. If socialists were thus capitalists by default. was also a socialist. If socialists were capitalists of a kind by virtue of embracing modernity. Coca-Cola became a major issue. Indeed Bernstein was typical in sharing John Locke’s theorem that those who mixed their labor with the soil laid more true claim to it than those who merely occupied it. after history rather than historic in its inception.Socialism in Europe 127 as capitalism without capitalists. though the symbolic and economic connection between Americanism and globalism is lost on nobody. So it is that modernity remains the big issue. Or. for continental leftists would often find themselves directly allied with local wine and beer producers against the importers of logos and consumer goods. If socialism was no longer to be conceived as an end state. even if it is in the margin or frame of Sassoon’s view rather than offering its substance. then this may be as much as we can reasonably hope for. Sassoon quotes Maurice Thorez on the matter: “In literature as elsewhere we must ensure that Coca-Cola does not triumph over wine. Ferdinand Tönnies. they also smuggled this sensibility in the back door. The argument could be taken further. just as all modern societies combine archaism and futurism with the present as new. and not only symbolically. for example.”9 McDonald’s. made Paris. in The Question of Class Struggle (1983). in Memories of Class (1983).
If socialists really lusted after something like capitalism without capitalists. as conservatives have behaved radically and as social democrats and liberals have argued for civil legacies and traditions disappearing from national cultures under the expanding influence of globalization and its key value. perhaps they also found themselves in a modern field where nirvana looked like Americanism without America. the working classes were fixed.128 Socialism in Europe the present. Socialism after Modernity In Sassoon’s interpretation. than to private property as such. and carry on regardless in the next safe walled city or middle-class enclave. catch a plane.” Socialisms of these other kinds were more opposed to individualism. the modernization of socialist tradition became the form in which socialism eventually renounced the ambition of developing noncapitalist economic relations. it needs best to be spread around. in the words of Francis Bacon. right again if diagonally. Thus the apparent irony that trade unions look like dinosaurs today because they owe their national outlook partly to the fact that. the international as well as consumerist imperatives of the United States. as in capitalism-socialism. socialism was a variation on capitalism rather than its negation. as Sassoon puts it. What remained less well situated in this picture was Pax Americana. they could always leave. socialism-individualism. the real political issue of the 1950s. Anyway. A different twist could also be put on this view. then. Revisionism. as those representing the long trend from Marx himself to Joseph Schumpeter suspected. “money is like muck. European liberals and social democrats faced the localized version of these problems for those who would stay at home—how to generate American consumption levels without an American regime of production.11 This can be seen to have been so even more so into the 1980s and 1990s. they were the nation. for in a way it aligns the various socialisms too exclusively with the marxism that came to dominate them. then. which is where all those miracles came into the picture. individualism. As Marx had put it. as the Marx of the Paris Manuscripts hoped. whether in the hands of Bernstein in fin-de-siècle Germany or later in those of Douglas . whereas it was the members of the bourgeoisie that knew no ultimate fatherland or motherland. the cold war. stuck. however selectively. The local socialisms that opened up into and after the 1820s were given not so much to the idea of the negation of private property as to gentler notions of its distribution. How to achieve the European version of American consumer society was.
as Sassoon says. where modernity was less a capitalist than a nascent technocratic creed. in this sense. and with it the schizoid coupling of revolutionary rhetoric and reforming practice. To open to the right.12 If we are moderns. as Kautsky had it.Socialism in Europe 129 Jay. was again the symptom of an imaginary adjustment to modernity. liberalism itself. Some capitalisms consistently denied Marx’s prognostications regarding the relentless thirst for profits. at least where Anglo traditions encouraged ruthlessly adversarial industrial . infamously. As I tried to show in my 1994 book Postmodern Socialism. The very arrival of abundance helped to trigger the 1960s with its politics of refusal. modernity calls on romanticism perhaps even more than it relies practically on the Enlightenment. the idea of stasis as utopia was gradually rejected. The road from Crosland to Tony Blair. Weber. the left returned with a vengeance in the meantime. together with the two-class model and “the worse. But the interim was also a fascinating experience. especially in places such as France or Britain. we are also ambivalent or hesitant moderns. The socialist movement’s own imperatives lapsed into the minimalist demands of the Communist Manifesto and the Erfurt Program. Tony Crosland. think only of the sociological classics—Marx. The ghost of Kautsky was. Georg Simmel. some firms seemed to continue almost forever turning in minimal or negative profits. finally exorcized. the most visible form of romantic anticapitalism yet encountered. Durkheim. was also to open up socialism to its old and rejected sibling. Marxism was let go as the image of an end state. Capitalists. If the left became the advocate of local modernization. it seemed. it seems actually to be the case that so far from generating its own forms of modern consciousness. for as Sassoon narrates. some capitalisms were more dynamic than others. also seemed to enjoy not making profits. and Tönnies—or think of the practical impact of suburban utopia across the twentieth century. In Britain in the 1960s. as in Australia into the 1970s and then the 1980s. as hippie culture spurned capitalism before discovering how to put the counterculture to profitable ends. the SPD of his reign was a “revolutionary but not a revolution-making” party. and Evan Durbin in postwar Britain. the better” claims of emiseration theory. Marx’s premises concerning capitalist dynamism were somewhat selective. Crisis theory finally went out the window. Proletarian mythology in any case had long been compromised by the necessity of constructing class alliances. Bernstein to Willy Brandt was less convoluted than it may at first have seemed. it fell to labor parties to seek out modernization. it also often held this ambition together with the nostalgia of tradition.
however. if together. and more humanly than others. however. But to say this is also only to return to Sassoon’s analytical observation that socialists have far too blithely projected socialism. the idea of national models will not really work. Planomania’s slimmer legacy from the 1930s slipped into the postwar period with a modicum of formal participation added. Like some welfare states. of trade unions hitting hard to improve wages and conditions in the here and now. some capitalisms work better. too. The social movements of the 1960s affected the socialist parties in other more tangible ways. The main union game. except in those instances in which internationalism intervenes. So income policies or social contracts became a major motif or aspiration of postwar social development in the West. onto labor movements that. High levels of strike activity in the 1960s are open to various possible interpretations.130 Socialism in Europe relations or. as Sassoon suggests. have also been deeply committed to the politics of consumerism in the material world. for these experiments are all irredeemably local in their grounding or comparative advantage. Those on the left. while sometimes radical or at least solidaristic. as Sassoon nicely puts it in slogan form. If. The challenge for local labor movements. modernization also meant the liberation of women into labor markets. So. When it comes to matters of class struggle. though as Sassoon recounts. even the roseate mystique around the May ’68 “events” in Paris tended to keep each social group marching separately. their own desire. for although all governments might learn from others. As Sassoon insists. more effectively. meantime. the modular sense of an exportable Swedish or Austrian package will not wash. The new left. as I tried to show in Transforming Labor (1994). The events of 1968. modernity meant America plus Sweden. just as it is difficult finally to isolate any single explanation of why some welfare states became more comprehensive or minimalist than others. even the halcyon images of the 1960s also contain a more sober note. as Michal Kalecki had put it. fit the schema of modernization after the fact. seems less impressive than the . Wildcat strikes or occupations remain far more symbolically loaded than annual strike day measures. where the pursuit of more strictly political desires for control dominated economic desires for productivity. parochialism or local culture rules.13 is to work tradition and modernity together without succumbing absolutely to the imperatives of globalization or the fuzzy nostalgia for imagined pasts. was less wildcat than corporatist. which obviously indicate intrasystemic economic struggle more than they do breakouts of radical politics. in retrospect. gushed over the slogan of worker-student alliance.
The “1960s” occurred in various places across different times. as Sassoon reminds us. Sassoon takes up an agnostic stance when it comes to problems of explaining the hippy culture. So why did “alienation” become a symbol of the 1960s? Sassoon also pokes at this issue and finds it puzzling. as Marcuse put it. not least of all the fascinating moment when the British pop invasion turned the tables on America. and the cultural attributes of that decade have since been recycled and are presently being recycled in various different places. they were often given to authoritarian antiauthoritarianism. though. actually into the 1970s. drugs.Socialism in Europe 131 women’s movement. Whatever the case. As I suggested earlier. dressed up in clothes that now seem ridiculous. separating the corrupt establishment from respect for the decent people who were screwed by them. not-Manchester or -Liverpool. even if it is a textual one. and substituted sex. The Beatles and the Maharishi were a new symbolic representation of an old colonial relationship. One key connection that eludes Sassoon’s commentary. the British (and Australian) student radicals of the 1960s were fundamentally anti-American but in deeply ambivalent ways. to the romantic cult of Che Guevara and Leon Trotsky taped together with putatively antiestablishment bands like The Who and the Rolling Stones. especially. Thus. How could it be that the traditionalistic British could outrock the Americans who had pioneered the cultural transformation of blues into rock and formed a new modern and popular culture with it? Part of the explanation can be anticipated in terms of the flows of cultural traffic and in more conventional claims about the historical significance of seaport cultures in the flows of cultural traffic. they wanted out of the asphalt car parks and back into the fields of grass. one based not only on imperial arrogance but also on romantic desire for the other. and rock and roll for politics. is the translation of Marx’s Paris . Perhaps the question is too close or confining. and as I argued more extensively in Postmodern Socialism. Maybe this is because we were in it. not-Birmingham. even if they disliked Americans. radicals the world over embraced romanticism because they wanted out of America in their heads. I think. what this also revives is the issue of the attractions of romanticism and antimodernism for moderns. Criticizing the rotten leaders of the United States. Perhaps more than this. The British also had at their cultural disposal a neat romantic channel to orientalism in their postcolonial relationship with India. these people mixed styles and cultures. radicals still often remained aligned with the American model of modernity.
eugenics. 1996). Here was a marketing opportunity made in heaven. Marx’s Manuscripts would have simply disappeared.” This is no simple misogynist wheeze. None of which is to say that the translation of Marx’s work itself had any necessarily historical effect. there is something intuitively wrong with a history of socialism in the twentieth century that devotes more space “to the ‘woman question’ in the 1980’s than to the Social Democratic Party of Germany between 1890 and 1933. for one cannot talk about socialism without talking about fascism. but they do offer some keyhole optics into processes elsewhere. though it seems likely that many read his momentary romantic reincarnation in Marcuse. and the term arrived at the peak of the romantic anticapitalist or hippie response to modernity in the 1960s.132 Socialism in Europe Manuscripts into the 1960s. In one sense. this is entirely correct. Social Democracy’s Failure in Success Feminism. in the politics both of the street and of the academy—as though one cannot talk of socialism without talking about feminism. too much caught up with the politics we now (some of us) inhabit. he also criticized the proportions of its coverage—not enough concern with Eastern Europe and too much with feminism for his taste. Yet (to make a connection that would horrify . or ecological radicalism. Does Sassoon overplay all this? Certainly Tony Judt has protested so in a review of Sassoon’s book in the Times Literary Supplement (November 8. theosophy. was a theory that also ran together with movements and with the patterns of social transformation increasingly characteristic of this period. as the Grundrisse did into the 1970s. The oddities of theory may not lead or even just reflect. if only it could have been anticipated at the time. As Judt complained. Michel Foucault) had a striking effect on the new left culture. Just as Sassoon observes elsewhere. rather. for it combined an apparently libertarian or maoist politics of refusal with a picture of modernity as the fixed state apparatus or the immovable prison house. Catholicism. it was also the case that the work of Louis Althusser (and later. the point. meantime. however. apart from the academics and the bookshops. Although Judt praised the book. where feminism in some ways has displaced socialism. Translated into English twenty years later or twenty years earlier. is that these kinds of elective affinities can be drawn out of the period in order to make it less baffling than it might appear. For Marx named what was perceived to be a problem as alienation. Probably very few actually read Marx. Judt’s complaint is that Sassoon’s own optic is too presentist.
I think. Only Sassoon proceeds to argue as though both socialism and feminism were modernist. and still contain. What remains central here. woe betide us if we do.Socialism in Europe 133 Judt) there is also something in this critical response that Althusser would have called the failure to properly constitute a theoretical object: we cannot by the nature of discourse speak of everything at once. not only of modernity. . so does the theory and practice of the women’s movement become more central to his story. to Lilith or Hecate. Sassoon aligns feminism and socialism too singularly with the image of modernity or modernism. The theoretical connection is important. because of the ambivalence that moderns of both sexes bring to the experience of wage labor. If we accept this kind of methodological unfolding on Sassoon’s part. the self-described historian. then. when Sassoon insists that for socialists and feminists “the past had to become scorched earth”? Plainly both movements were modernizing. we find ourselves puzzling over national paths of development and transformation. that both movements were children of the modern world. Certainly the utopias of the labor movement act out and back as much as they anticipate and yet fear the shock of the new. the problems of interpretation become more interesting. among other icons. in our own time. it does seem to me that Sassoon. What can it mean. as Gramsci recommends. In other words. Contrary to Sassoon’s claim. In this instance. and as One Hundred Years of Socialism increasingly focuses on the postwar period of West European social democracy. the strictly defined analytical object of “socialism” may actually give way to other patterns of movement. in our lives if less in Sassoon’s book. back even to Spartacus. My own response to this issue is therefore slightly different. not least of all per arguments to matriarchy or mother right. just as the workers’ movement could construct its own rhetoric back through lineages of peasant and popular struggle. their respective images of the New Jerusalem. too. as Sassoon puts it. in the critical sociology of Zygmunt Bauman. a need and even a reverence for tradition that now. we should imagine. if. both also held. is more engaged in sociology than perhaps he would like. I do not think it will do to portray both movements as antitraditional. It is true. and both were formally dependent on the field we know as modernity. is itself also a defining attribute of modernity. as I anticipated earlier. feminists could and did hark back to millenarian claims. is the deep sense of modernity as ambivalence that was expressed in Marx’s work and articulated later through Georg Simmel and. this may be a historicist slide in itself. for both had.
given the connection between globalization and service industries. Self-management saw the revived socialist forces ride to power while the French communists took out the garbage. But where. Social democracy or welfarism retained stronger prospects in smaller countries such as Austria. for the consensus since Karl Polanyi’s Great Transformation seems rather to have been that all markets are licensed and regulated but in distinct kinds of ways. need it. we survive as actors in the public sphere. was that between high levels of growth and high employment levels. then. as Sassoon observes. and Norway. also appeared stronger. does it point? In France. and hate it. reflation and public ownership. only because there remain private spheres to hold us up. Sassoon argues. Industry development policy. however. not only full male employment. The coincidence that worked for socialists. in any case. away from state ownership and the working class. which has the combined virtue and vice of meaning all things to all people. Behind the good vibes of self-management. to which I would add only one small qualification: it was the triumph of a particular kind of regulation. All those parties in the streets . Returning to Sassoon’s narrative. The distinction serves to remind us that globalization processes can also be expected to have highly uneven effects for women. in this context. however decisive or absent they may seem. became the single most important factor in the decline of trade unions’ strength. then. Modernization. Holland. health. is a strategy that points away from the traditional values of the socialist movement. in more conventionally Durkheimian terms. where local cultures were more solidaristic and political habits more often consociational and consensual. then. even as we plunge wilfully into the future. Unemployment. his argument is that the triumph of postwar capitalism was the triumph of regulated capitalism. and the present dissolves in between. autogestion. the arrow of postindustrial progress pointed to the value of self-management. Every other day we long for the past. Sweden. This is only to say. and education. Social democracy’s strength is inversely related to unemployment.134 Socialism in Europe We love it. arguably. arguably reflects the old masculine interests of the labor movement over those of the women who work part time and often in tertiary rather than secondary industry. that all capitalisms also need to deal with problems of social solidarity. Here the prospects for full employment. there stood no economic strategy except that of the old Keynesianism. though initiatives along the lines of increasing female labor participation now increasingly coincide with the restriction and privatization of welfare support in child care.
who mirrors this phenomenon as much as he seeks to harness it. with complications. became muffled for a few years after 1989. or else they became unwitting anticipations of the danse macabre of French socialism. ten years earlier it would have elicited laughter or scorn. Sassoon expresses the problem more strikingly. “Socialism is dead. Some socialists began to argue that markets could deliver socialist services. it coexisted with Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan both domestically and elsewhere in Western Europe. momentarily. By 1980. but sound odd. however. and—here only. even then. as it did Mikhail Gorbachev and all those before him . by 1989. in relaying the news that by now the typical member of the British Labor Party—one of the most class-bound parties in Europe in terms of image and rhetoric—was. Tradition still held on by its fingernails against modernization. More than anywhere else in Europe. had come to little. and Greece plainly represented progress. as a cultural phenomenon. In ideological terms. middleclass. Maybe modernization will get the better of him. French socialism can legitimately claim to be the inheritor of a national revolutionary tradition. meantime. Socialists may have responded to the economic crises with far too much narcissistic confidence. if not of the degree that socialists had hoped for. that the ends could be retained while the means of delivery were modernized. As Sassoon puts it. because. The politics of nationalization could therefore still be defended. as Sassoon recalls. but then socialism had never depended singularly on its support in any case. as a national policy in France. the French kept up their antiAmerican shutters. the strength of French socialism remained different. unlike German or British socialism. and then resurfaced as problems of German reunification and the Russian mafia expanded. however. yet the sense that the problems remained itself echoed powerfully across the 1980s. but it did not disappear. The industrial proletariat continued to shrink. this process of socialist modernization had turned in on itself. did not disappear. while the collapse of the authoritarian regimes in Portugal. All of which suggests a Christmas bonus for Tony Blair. The welfare state was subject to various lines of attack. At the end of the François Mitterand experience. Spain. Socialism. The hopes kindled in the PCI.Socialism in Europe 135 were premature. while Althusser and others were still discussing the older theme of the “crisis of marxism. this kind of edict could not help. middle-aged. no surprise—still male. the French left looked more bankrupt than it ever had before.”14 Yet. at least when it came to claims about culture and Coca-Cola.” Alain Touraine announced. meantime.
let me suggest that Sassoon’s assessment of the twentieth century fails completely to convince. My own reading of Hobsbawm. What has been lost in this is not only the scholastic side of socialism. incredibly influential especially in Britain and popularized on the new left through the work of New Left Review. None of us feels in control anywhere. socialism had turned back to liberalism. in which marxists. now as a comic rather than a tragic motif.”15 But it was more. to the status of communism and marxism at the end of our century. His verdict on communism is ambivalent: “Communism as an instrument of modernization was not a failure. Hobsbawm seems to me to work within a Deutscherist view. an image itself later appropriated for market purposes by Disney. in particular. The only apparent consolation that Sassoon can find in this is the possibility that movement is life. The image of authorship or agency so central to socialism a century ago has lapsed. paradoxically. The labour movement was a reaction to capitalism. justice. I shall not labor the criticism here. This was also. Trotskyism. finally. to claims concerning citizenship and social rights. is that it is too heavily biographical in its assessment of the respective status of communism and fascism. Before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Hobsbawm’s is a great one that has rightly been widely applauded.136 Socialism in Europe who unleashed change in order to ride it. except instantaneously perhaps in the shopping malls. To make an obvious association. for what it is worth. This is exactly what Eduard Bernstein had meant by revisionism: not an antitheoretical theory so much as a theory driven by practice as well as by ethics. and the Transition to Socialism. Communism as an instrument for the emancipation of human beings from the servitude of necessity was a catastrophe.17 To . in part because it is aligned too sympathetically with Eric Hobsbawm’s in The Age of Extremes. specialized. because it is elaborated in a book I published ten years ago titled Trotsky.”16 Without making too much of the disagreement. to the practical message of a century of struggle now embodied in institutions and traditions. Like Sassoon’s book. Sassoon quotes Olof Palme. for which at the end of the day the Soviet experience must be defended because socialist. speaking in 1975: “We socialists live to some extent in symbiosis with capitalism. even if moving forward is no guarantee of success. In his epilogue to this story. The labor movement or the working class also made capitalism. To stand still is to let go. As Marx had pondered in 1847. the path of modern history looked too much like the story of the sorcerer’s apprentice. Donald Sassoon returns. and equality. already. a return to practice in a sense against theory. dignity.
Was Marx responsible for all this mess. Marx may have helped generate some mischief. as well as separated because one stream (to truncate) is humanist and the other antihumanist. Utopia remains vital not least of all because although it is one thing to recognize that all political arguments embody utopic elements. But Sassoon lets Marx off the theoretical hook too readily in asserting that Marx “never developed a theory of socialism. Yet we need to acknowledge that Sassoon’s is a tough brief—it is a brief with a moral problem attendant on all who believe in socialism and write about it. however. with Sassoon. If. Now. as . Certainly Sassoon foregrounds social democracy. this narrative may be defensible in the case of Hobsbawm’s book because it represents the main radical explanation available to his generation. as is evident even in his choice of a title for his book. As critics like Michael Mann have argued. where Hobsbawm focuses on communism. these roads to hell paved with the skulls of the well-intentioned as well as the bystanders? Here it seems to me that the cleavages are clearer. that the only choices we have even in principle are between. however. Hobsbawm. From a perspective or experience different to Hobsbawm’s. the extremes are not communism and fascism but both against social democracy. so he necessarily returns to Marx. that Marx was “contemptuous of those who wrote utopian blueprints”20 is to repeat a cliché at the expense of arguing about utopia as a field of tension between modernity and tradition. the twentieth century. How does one tell the truth without encouraging radical depression? Sassoon knows. directly coincide. probably he would have taken tea with Kautsky rather than the soapbox with Lenin. Bolshevism is viewed in this optic as morally superior to fascism because it committed abominable acts in the name of noble ends. though. there are murderers in both sets of families. and Hobsbawm’s case is distinct because his own life and his object of analysis. To say. Europe.”19 My argument in Labour’s Utopias is that Marx developed at least five varying utopias stretching from romantic in The Paris Manuscripts to modernist in Capital but failed to systematize these clues. and America. too. but he was no Bolshevik. Japan. say. it is another to accept the sense that all that is left is what is in history today.Socialism in Europe 137 put it more plainly. there is no point in denying this or in avoiding its implications.18 As I have suggested. Even Bernstein hoped for more than that. bifurcates left and right. As Sassoon returns in closing to communism. where the extremities never meet. left and right should be conceptually and historically aligned where the sympathies can be discerned.
say. “these parties are the only Left that is left. because it is so fully implicated in capitalism and in our fin-de-siècle turmoil. in my view. 1889–1989. Marxism can no longer claim to be the sole philosophical discourse of modernity. that this story is not over and that socialism remains a cultural current even if it is now formally unrecognizable. but it is equally difficult to imagine modernity without marxism. where power is pluralized and capitalism is a key problem but not the only one. that our century started in 1914 and ended in 1989. may be that the idea of socialism does not remain like a lone survivor from the lost Atlantis. We now inhabit the incredible moment in which at the same time nobody believes in marxism and yet everybody accepts its basic premise—economy rules. is fundamentally correct in reading his period. as he concludes. marxism emerged as the critique of political economy that is also its mirror (Jean Baudrillard) or shares its imaginary universe (Cornelius Castoriadis). in his final words in this book. the twentieth century was the American century. The irony.138 Socialism in Europe did Gramsci. to Weber’s own project. Hobsbawm’s . Sassoon.” Conclusions Let me conclude for my own part by drawing together some of these threads. that insight also has its limits. rather. Analytically speaking. Although many would also draw inspiration from the older idea recycled by Hobsbawm. via Lukács. is less a loss than a transformation. The two experiences are historically and conceptually inseparable. not least of all because globalization rules. this is to step away from Marx via the traditions of critical theory. Sassoon’s frame for thinking socialism is valuable because. but not only because. The collapse of marxism. as a kind of watershed or historic moment that saw the consolidation both of capitalism and socialism. which is exactly the vocation intellectuals ought to pursue. To become open to modernity is simultaneously to place or limit marxism and also to register the profundity of its critical claims. he also steps beyond and outside it in order to locate marxism within modernity rather than the other way around. in this way of thinking. the idea may die at the very moment that socialist parties survive. which combined Marx and Weber. although he retains many of the critical insights of marxism. To speak of the American century is to raise more questions than answers. Although we can easily agree with those notional claims that. As Sassoon laments. say. it seems to me that Sassoon is onto something more profound with the idea that for socialists our century started and finished early.
is a reflection of the kind of Deutscherism that views the Russian Revolution as the great fact. although it cannot be over for once and for all when a capitalist such as George Soros becomes a communitarian. this is not only to truncate the story of modernity but also to reduce it thus. If Weber’s advice to Lukács was correct. My own sense is that the period 1880–1980 marked a phase of coalescence in new liberal. so Hobsbawm is telling us very clearly (and profoundly) that the twentieth century was less the American than the Soviet century. whether we compare Bolshevism with Fabianism and social democracy as national projects. 1914 leads directly to 1917. we have chosen to construct them as beyond control. and from which we are only now departing. For it is arguably that experience of wars and revolutions that held up the twentieth century. in different ways. especially when it comes to the Russian Revolution. under the wrong sign. nothing can remain the same. The rough dates I have chosen to mark these sea-changes in Transforming Labor and in Postmodern Socialism are only moderately different from Sassoon’s. The world we have lost on this account was one to do with the will to reform. Postmodern chaos and postmodern markets seem simply beyond control. For social democracy is the most alive form of socialism. The slide back to the individualism of the older economic liberalism is a slide back to the other side of the will to reform. just as others constructed the French Revolution as the unifying and condensing symbol for modernity. or whether we track. and socialist thought and practice that made capitalism strong and socialism its social partner. the beginning of the communist experiment as state power. or the century in which hope opened for the left because of the October Revolution. the . as I have in Labour’s Utopias. But this is to truncate too much. Birmingham radicalism. This. that century was marked by a disputed consensus that social problems could be both registered or recognized and resolved. Trotsky was sharper than this even to begin to think modernity as the epoch of wars and revolutions.Socialism in Europe 139 short twentieth century also condenses. with Sassoon. Blue Books. Friedrich Engels and Sidney Webb on housing. as now seems clear. to accept that the game called civilizing capitalism is over. To speak plainly. So there is no certainty at all that economic liberalism or so-called deregulation will last indefinitely. Socialism was the answer to a question called the social question. and guaranteed minimum—all this made a piece. it seems to me. neither socialism (or what replaces it) nor capitalism. the more serious question is what the scope for renewal might be after the present wave of globalization. labor.
neither a capitalist nor a socialist one. is what matters. as Orlando Patterson has shown in Freedom. we come to face frontally a contradiction built into modernity and into Sassoon’s attempt to capture it analytically through narrating the socialist tradition since the 1890s. . None of us can escape change. that itself generates not only suffering but also the cry for freedom. today. is the painful yet creative tension between the forces and ideologies that we used to call “capitalism” and “socialism. more destruction for others—too slow to capitalize on change or to take up cudgels for the sorcerer. as Michels and Weber anticipated. To extend Sassoon’s argument just a little. adopted by Marx and spread by Alexandre Kojève. then. that is precisely why socialism is so much endangered by globalization. or so it was and ought to be. Not because we should believe in its certainty of arrival as an end state so much as because it is (so to say) the struggle between them that held together the fibers of our lives. it carries the kind of creative destruction that Marx anticipated and Schumpeter then named—more creation for some. a national project. As I have argued in Postmodern Socialism. what this means for the left is not only that we have lost the comfortable illusion that socialism will ever actually arrive or arrive to stay. the idea of global citizenship is a chimera. Not victory. the kind of internationalization offered by economic globalization is both bourgeois and revolutionary. And social democracy is. they have been reduced for better or worse to the norms and ethics that inform both socialism and social liberalism. we are left with the ideologically empty or exhausted machines of institutionalized party politics. the issue for socialists today is that we have lost the tension. the causes we imagined and hoped for and associated with socialism no longer have any institutional bearers. for social justice and social rights are delivered and protected (or not) by nation-states.” As Sassoon puts it. Finally. is also national. nor can we control it. There is no end state. as we have seen. The point is not that socialism has failed to conquer capitalism so much as it is that socialism has failed to keep its role as the alter ego of capitalism. Whatever the virtues of cultural globalization or multiculturalism.140 Socialism in Europe expansion and involution of communism and the reconvergence of social democracy in the wake of World War II. Historically it has been the experience of unfreedom. seek though we may to do so.21 The risk today is that we encounter the unfreedom but less the call for its transcendence. to put it differently. but the struggle. Or. Socialism is to capitalism as slave is to master in Hegel’s image. What we have lost. Citizenship. in other words.
The ghosts of the radical traditions will shadow us in this. Donald Sassoon’s book is a book for our time. Sassoon does not refer to Gabriel Garcia Márquez in this connection. it may be something more like a culture. to draw strength from as well as wisdom. if I remember correctly. yet recycle in other forms. (1997) . races that are condemned to one hundred years of solitude do not have a second opportunity on earth. In the context of the moment we inhabit. We shall see what the next century brings . at the end of the Hegelian day. . It continues to hold up modernity as an attitude and a project.Socialism in Europe 141 The challenge for socialists today remains not to achieve transcendence but to act as though freedom and dignity remain possible. this is nowhere near as minimal an assertion as it may seem viewed from the lofty heights and the lower depths of the revolutionary tradition. Socialism may. it continues to animate our everyday lives and our hopes beyond them. new beginnings as well as closure. as is their wont. however. We can only hope that its publisher will put it out in paperback and distribute it widely. as William Morris already hoped a century ago. . yet One Hundred Years of Socialism evokes One Hundred Years of Solitude. is poignant. promises as well as threats. may nevertheless be more than the parties. The conclusion of Márquez’s book. One hundred years of socialism is a story to be proud of. What we are left with. for the struggle continues.
dystopia. for then we encountered utopia in power. depends on self-reflexivity. we hate it. his view is that we. too. the textbooks tell us. Socialism—the Active Utopia Utopia is a ubiquitous presence in the lives of moderns. and then under fascism. yet we resist or detest the changes sponsored by others. Our attraction to the modern possibility of change sometimes leads us to value change over everything else. that the world needs changing. indeed that we as intellectuals or legislators aspirant have been a big part of the problem of modernity. we know that the world needs change. alternative models of living from the 142 . even if it is less immediately clear than ever exactly whose responsibility this task is. Thinking. in the Soviet experiment. which often seem to make the world less inhabitable than it was before. but never in what we do. We love it. acting. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. yet we cannot deny. George Orwell’s 1984. Seeking out the balance seems to be the most impossible of challenges. Zygmunt Bauman’s sociology is persistently self-reflexive. either. dreaming—these are nevertheless some of our major activities.Eleven Intellectuals and Utopians Sociology. for we sociologists seem to have a characteristic knack of knowing what is wrong in what other people do. yet it is also the most interminable. Into the twentieth century the story intensified. are part of the problem. interpreting. Utopia.
need mental space to discuss ends and hopes. that remained both defensible and desirable. Attitudes toward utopia are also likely to shift historically and conjuncturally. and they say something about its capacities (15). The practical and theoretical Western enthusiasm for utopia of the 1960s indicated the relative abundance of that moment. he dedicated the book to his twin daughters: “To Irena and Lydia—my twin utopias. even though individual utopian .”1 Reality was to be measured against the ideal. utopias relativize the present. Societies like ours. Bauman’s vision of utopia was positive when. they evoke not only past achievements but also future possibilities.” Actually existing socialism. in a sense. he published Socialism: The Active Utopia. they generate dissensus rather than false harmony. however. these are not simply matters of personal taste. Bauman opened his book with a characteristic claim: “Socialism descended upon nineteenth-century Europe as utopia. utopias are also significant because they are aspects of culture in which possible extrapolations of the present may be explored. encompassing both the desire for self-creation and the horrors of rational mastery. at least utopia then became contemplative again rather than active. in 1976. But more. but in the spirit of that period of Marx renaissance. against utopia. it was the latter.Intellectuals and Utopians 143 Shakers to the hippies. Utopianism. They offer us criteria other than immanent measures in order to take stock of where we are and where we are heading. the part that remains uneasy at the sense of the achievement or arrival of our great civilizations. Utopias are driven by hope. dreams to go forward or back— utopia seems almost to enclose the modern experience. but they can also be concrete. If normality generates conformity. can also be romantic or modernizing. utopias are useful because they pluralize. utopianism is vital even in its most fantastic or ridiculous guises. though we should also contemplate the fact that there have been. Utopias were significant. as the themes of Bauman’s Memories of Class (1982) suggest. Yet second. no utopias after Auschwitz. or its concrete representatives. they express the possible hopes of an age. utopia is real. may have expelled the Baumans from Poland. for Bauman. They open horizons of comparison. then we had the luxury of realizing that social arrangements did not mirror economic potentials. in four generic ways. First. This was a good moment in his life. the project of socialism. based on the hegemony of instrumental reason. settled in Leeds after years of disappointment and harassment. it is part of us. more or less imaginary (13). Third. but unlike history. Some utopias are born in the blackest of moments.
as futuristic. Utopias are political. by comparison. future-oriented.144 Intellectuals and Utopians projects might themselves enthuse about false harmony or stasis. and socialism is a modern. the distinction in Bauman’s mind is similar to that in Émile Durkheim’s lectures on socialism. the idea that capitalism automatically generates its own fatal economic contradictions or else its own proletarian gravediggers. the impure. modernizing force. and this is one of its weaknesses as well as its strengths—it seeks out perfectibility rather than perfection (19). the ordinary. socialism. As Bauman summarized. and ultimately in Jacobinism. the figure of utopia is also classical. Utopias split the shared reality we inhabit into a series of competing projects for the future and assessments of the present. which is critical of that which exists. Not all utopias. images whose expression often coincides with the activity of distinct social groups (15). where communism looks back. Marx short-circuited this logic of contempt and leadership only by introducing the impossible. yesterday’s utopia—like the idea of guaranteed income—may be on today’s social policy agenda. in that they express distinct and competing images of the good society. to simplicity. is complicit in the very restlessness of modernity itself. . and this whether positively. are socialist. Francis Bacon. and this is where socialism comes into its prominence. Fourth. utopias do in fact exert enormous influence on the actual course of historical events. not Plato. which is not at all inevitable so much as it is desirable.2 The commune seeks stasis. opens the door for the Bolsheviks or the New Prince as the missing link to fuse the gap between the proletariat and history (24). the present. Jacobinism is based conceptually on the image of the weak individual who needs only to be led by Those Who Know (21). arcing back at least to Plato. Jacobinism is a kind of utopianism based on contempt for the impassive. This is why one person’s utopia is another’s dystopia. Thus the complicity of socialism in social engineering. For socialism has always been caught up with the sense of change that we identify as modern. but modern utopias are different. Utopias have an “activating presence”. and which relies politically on the possibility of collective action (17). but socialism has been the most prominent member in the family. Socialism mirrors capitalism. in turn. or negatively. then. the unwashed (22). This false marxian solution to the problem of political organization. in the best sense of the word. Of course. utopia is an image of a future and better world. was the face of its earlier vision. as romantic in tenor (18–19). and in this sense is beyond practical realization.
Their work combined in different ways the lust for change and progress with the very different. all remained deeply ambivalent on this score. stretched across the desire for simplicity and the thrust toward dynamism. Karl Marx.Intellectuals and Utopians 145 Next Bauman confronted a theme that was to anticipate the path of his life’s work into the 1990s: the problem of order. As Bauman acknowledged. this is a fact both “real” and “utopian” in its dimensions. as moderns. . Although it is less than controversial to observe that the utopian impulse often historically takes architectural form. is on the distinction between the industrializing socialist intellectuals like Marx and the alternative currents that valued nostalgic dreams about the precapitalist world we had lost (31). including Henri de Saint-Simon. Bauman acknowledged this directly when he aligned the value of simplicity with the image of Gemeinschaft (31). The real dividing line runs between the preachers of greater complexity and admirers of simplicity. social engineering attitude. If the presence of Durkheim is often apparent behind arguments in sociology. The anthropological and ethical issue here is whether we. “Even the most ardent preachers of the new industrial world must have drawn their definition of order. as a safe and predictable situation founded on the regularity and recurrence of human conduct. are prepared to live with the mess or whether we are to become obsessed with the idea of cleaning it up. For architecture is coterminous with the thoroughly modern. and Edward Bellamy. will always be caught up together. Perhaps this is why Marx and Bellamy remained caught between Durkheim’s imagined options. Gemeinshaft. order shifted from the realm of “nature” to that of techne. from the living memory of the past. As Bauman noted. the central utopian socialists. Utopianism is based on the quest for order (29). then. Bauman’s concern here was rather to probe into the motivation involved. hope and memory. “It is only recently that we have begun to realise the extent to which modern thought is prompted by the cravings of order” (28). so does the ghost of Ferdinand Tönnies shadow many of its concerns. where simplicity conjures up the image of return. however. trapped between communism and socialism. As he announced. progress and nostalgia. scientific. for modernity is the field of social self-constitution. Utopias. since it was never demonstrated by the system currently in existence” (31). once and for all (30). The emphasis in Bauman’s argument. residual sense of loss of the past. with stark clarity. With the advent of modernity. will not neatly be classified as exclusively oriented to the past or to the future.
socialism is the counterculture of capitalism. utopia that rests always somewhere beyond would seem merely illusory (36–37). the postmodern). as an ideology. was a follower of Tönnies without ever knowing it. liberalism. and Tönnies. in Bauman’s words. but only in mirroring a different feature. and it privileges images of the desirable over the actually achieved (50). Socialism is made a program more than a critical spirit. “The socialist utopia could present itself as a genuine substitute for the bourgeois way of dealing with the issues of modernity. Or else. If it is realized. This is to substitute an accountant’s conception of socialism for its ideal of freedom or equality. as state power. or “necessity. Marx. For socialism has these two goals. both of which have been trampled by its enthusiasts (53).” whereas early marxism and alternative streams of socialism actually sought to problematize economy itself. For it is in the hands of its marxist spokesmen that socialism is centered on and thus reduced to economy. Socialism has been. that will be the solution.146 Intellectuals and Utopians or traditional community. like a builder’s plan. as in Wittgenstein’s sense. it will die. works as the usually unstated image by which much of contemporary sociology still will measure the present. For socialism is also caught up with. not just capitalism. too. Bauman next addressed Durkheim’s use of the specific category socialism to denote the idea of a state-directed economy. modern sociology. But this. which is to presume that utopia can be realized concretely. But it is also marxism. and here he drew from Tom Bottomore. and to some extent still was for Bauman in 1976. and in a certain perverse sense it will therefore be modernity (or later. freedom and equality. is a specific rather than a generic image of socialism. its significance as utopia is more powerfully as the not yet. But the family resemblances across the different socialisms are weak. was also a socialist and a utopian. not socialism. who historically followed him. and continuous with. More precisely. for what else could the critique of alienation imply than a return to simplicity? For Marx was not only the son of the steam train. not to harness but to transform it. that is to say. has at its heart a deeply traditionalistic core. or as a further stage into which the previous stages smoothly and imperceptibly merge” (48). both within and without it. it is modernity. the modern utopia. The workers’ utopia thus in a certain sense became a bourgeois utopia (58). Yet it is modernity that ultimately frames socialism. not capitalism alone. too. and dispersed. . Yet if socialism has been historically important. not only capitalism (42). that is the problem. at the other extreme. that opens this slide into economism and gray industrialism. they resemble each other.
as we have noted. Certainly the historical trajectory of Gramsci’s own thought was away from council communism and toward the new party. Popular culture counts. custom. but so do the intellectuals who are its cultivators. even in manners mediated variously through habit. nor as something to be seized. The struggle for socialism. but citizens inhabited civil society. was the struggle for a new culture (65–68). neither as a historic inevitability. culture. as did Karl Kautsky. the party to end all parties. offering an alternative link to the Bolshevik Party between the socialist idea and its subjects. Bauman returned to Gramsci. Why Gramsci? Ideology. But Gramsci. well before the English-speaking new left discovered Gramsci. then. however. so was Georg Lukács more part of the problem for Bauman than part of its solution. we fool you. we serve all. Further. as the aspiring social ventriloquists ready to educate and to speak for the uncultured proletariat. as per Vladimir Lenin. an argument at once more sophisticated and more democratic in its timbre. not only because he was one. Although Kautsky viewed social democracy as the confluence of socialism and the working class—an idea and an agent—Gramsci more accurately conceived it as the project of a potential class alliance or a new historic bloc including intellectuals and workers. for Bauman as for Gramsci. we would be spared the pathetic comedy of intellectuals masquerading as pantomime proletarians. we shoot you. was also potentially to foreground them as a problem. his legacy to the Marx renaissance was among the richest. At least.Intellectuals and Utopians 147 Earlier in Bauman’s text. and belief or common sense. but also because he took intellectuals seriously. who recoiled at the mere mention of the New Prince. at the beginning of the long drama that ends with “We rule you. we eat for you. At this point of his discussion. of course. appeals also to intellectuals. he had cleared his throat regarding Antonio Gramsci’s idea of the New Prince. we know one of us when we see one. Where economy ruled for the orthodox marxists. just as Gramsci was less ideologically available to the thinkers of the Budapest School. State and economy mattered for Gramsci. To acknowledge the importance of the intellectuals. for Gramsci humans did. likely under fascism and in Mussolini’s prison. as Gramsci did.” The Bolshevik experiment . which was thenceforth where socialists might direct their attentions. and Bauman had been contemplating this since the early 1960s. for whatever the contradictions of the Sardinian’s thought. he could not think otherwise. and civil society were keywords in the reception of his marxism. Gramsci stood almost alone in viewing socialism as a popular challenge. in Gramsci’s view.
could only lead to the complete subjugation of the individual by a totally alienated social power (89). conceptually and politically. On the contrary. The dominant image of a socialist utopia was thus transformed. flattened out. seizing state power. not culture. As Bauman wrote: “It was no longer a utopia on the other side of the industrialisation process. and nation and state building. The history of marxism. even if the opposition between those who control . that compressed and outachieved earlier capitalist processes of primitive accumulation. the problems came later and were grounded rather in civil society. . Seeking to sidestep the stage of individuation. was not about the management of the economy. said Bauman in 1976. The Soviets were compelled to make a modernity of a particular kind rather than a socialism of a marxian kind. later and at a distance. after the Soviet experience. or perhaps in its weakness in this case. urbanization. it is now a utopia of industrialisation as such. It was a modernizing revolution. in a sense. perhaps he was actually running somewhere else. This meant that the Soviets were faced with an impossible challenge: to generate not only a modern economy but also a modern culture and forms of legitimation with it (81). Socialism. Yet the Soviet claim is not simply capitalist. as Bauman concluded. was transformed by the Bolshevik initiative. utopia was realized. Yet the Soviet experience was a path through modernity. No individuals. no possibilities for democracy. still ruled. bringing together industrialization. and not even about forms of ownership. in any case. . industrialized. of a particular kind. state power was not thrust on them. a capitalist utopia with no room for capitalists. Both the people and the individual were occluded in that process. Lenin identified his party with the people. as in the Soviet experience. one major problem in prerevolutionary Russia was to be located in the fact that the marxists belonged to the emerging civil society rather than to the state. . but the change in mentality across the two spheres was nevertheless dramatic (83). Yet the spirit of marxism. is a “populist” version of the old bourgeois utopia. but was unable to run with it (76). and therefore lost. in Bauman’s eyes. but about the activity of the masses. This was exactly the feature that Gramsci had discerned. smart conformity of the bureaucratic octopus” (91). Nevertheless. that to solve one problem would still imaginably solve the other. against the actually existing population. a bourgeois utopia in which the private tycoons of entrepreneurship have been replaced by the grey. was deceptively easy. Lenin took the baton.148 Intellectuals and Utopians acted on the possibility that economy. as the Bolsheviks did.
Bauman’s Socialism: The Active Utopia is an inconclusive study. Marx and marxism began to emerge. and therefore had lost its defining. by puritan morality. finally. by the dominance of work discipline. the relative disappearance of alternative points of view or judgments of value.3 Politics. Although the young Marx imagined a radical solution in a utopia back beyond capitalism and alienation. The role of marxism in all this also became problematical. had to start over (108). too close to the reality of capitalism. therefore. is notable in its absence. the Marx of Capital had already opened this route in explaining the self-reproduction of capitalism. Bureaucracy rules here. Three themes . The narrowing of modern common sense into its capitalist confines meant that the mere possibility of social alternatives needed to be established again. It is a report on the desirability and difficulty of socialist hope. Marx’s vision ultimately fell too low. in the classical sense. it is not economics that sucks up politics but rather the militarized political realm that controls the economy. needs more than vision or insight. The Soviet system came to measure its own perfection and its own progress in the “building of socialism” with the help of a bourgeois measuring rod (100). Marx’s own vision thus shrank across the path of his thought. the problem is even less shiftable. No guarantees about the negation of the negation could solve this (137). not capital. as part of the problem. whereas its critical role is caught up with the idea of socialism as the counterculture of capitalism. practically embodied in both East and West. for the Soviet experience has aligned socialism with capitalism. Viewed from the perspective of utopia. Socialism’s “success” was now also to be measured by the number of factory chimneys. The hegemony of the Russian Revolution within socialism has meant the closing of radical horizons. then. in the 1970s. like capitalism. Bauman suggested that it was only the emergence of civil society alongside the end of scarcity that would potentially open this Soviet scenario up in a socialist direction. A good ten years before the Western radical rediscovery of civil society. Socialism in a sense had become real. however. Hope. but unlike capitalism. One key difference. remained in the way that politics was directly militarized (96). What began as an idea in search of a constituency had become a constituency in search of an idea (109).Intellectuals and Utopians 149 and those they control is a kind of bipolarization similar to that evident in capitalist class relations (93). Socialism. by all the indicators of industrial progress. Socialism. became a dystopia. neither a noplace nor a good place. not only part of the solution. visionary capacity (112).
is a utopia or a culture more than a movement. that alternative ways persist. The impulse toward order is one fundamental motive in the utopian project. and the .4 The problem of order is also foregrounded in Bauman’s Socialism: The Active Utopia. Order shifts further into central focus in Bauman’s Legislators and Interpreters. Socialism: The Active Utopia persisted in connecting labor and utopia. to Memories of Class and beyond.150 Intellectuals and Utopians emerged in it that had special significance for Bauman’s later work: labor. in any case. For socialists. the vermin. If utopia remains possible. sweeping away the parasites. the intellectuals are warned but not yet damned for their open-ended legislative ambitions. but the utopia that has nothing to say to work or labor is useless. In Socialism: The Active Utopia. today the idea of utopia still cannot be reduced to the problems of labor. and as radicals we cannot but help being both attracted and repelled by these ambitions. where the quest for order becomes the central problem of modernity as such. labor was increasingly part of the problem of modernity. Perhaps we are more attracted by the possibility of the thought experiment than by its prospects for realization. The arguments about labor and socialism in this text plainly connect back. for the point. then. to Between Class and Elite. though its centrality emerges fully only in hindsight. For Bauman. André Gorz. order. Yet the impetus of the laboring utopia seemed already exhausted. and the coming eclipse of the moment of production by that of consumption changes none of this. that we can live differently. and more generally Gramsci. ultimately. the labor movement is not a utopia in itself. A famous propaganda image of Lenin did have him wielding a broom. nevertheless remain central. the negative credentials of the utopians as budding social engineers are posted here. Written in the middle 1970s. where it is intellectuals who seek to legislate order on behalf of the masses. may be less to seek actually to change the world than to know that the possibility exists. except in the most immanent sense. the future of socialism seems considerably less certain. problems of working life remain central to our spiritual and material existence. the idea of order remains both less developed and more ambivalent. and intellectuals. utopian intellectuals seek to redesign and rebuild the world. the scum of the earth. Socialism. The larger problem is that already in this book of Bauman’s the closure of socialism itself could be anticipated. and the value of labor. and stretch forward. at the end of the book. and finally in Modernity and the Holocaust and Modernity and Ambivalence. Yet the problems of the labor movement. even if its referents were often more to the 1960s—Herbert Marcuse.
have a residual problem with democracy. as Bauman would argue later. When push comes to shove. Lenin agreed with Kautsky that workers would always need to be led. this kind of mentality rests on a spurious scientistic and godly fantasy about mastery. where he was professor and head of the Sociology Department for almost twenty years. For Gramsci’s marxism began from the recognition that everyday life was an extraordinary mixture of intelligence. an academic . habit. and Trotsky never escaped from the fantasy that the real crisis of marxism was only ever a crisis of leadership. and prejudice. part of this problem. as though the human world were amenable to “fixing. Neither was driven by intellectuals. however. both sought to destroy them. for Gramsci. never escaped entirely from Bolshevism or from the Jacobin way of thinking. thinkers and interpreters become the legislators and hooded magistrates of history. They became exiles.” The Bolsheviks remained unable to transcend these barriers. By necessity. that the marxist image of the future presumed that there was no genetic distinction between leaders and led. the state in its mercy had decided not to shoot this messenger. in Leeds. we—know better. Of course it remained the fact that some were more intellectual than others.Intellectuals and Utopians 151 Bolsheviks were. For if they—that is. marxist intellectuals who have become professional revolutionaries cannot jump off the locomotive of history: democrats become demagogues. Legislators and Interpreters Bauman’s Polish brief as sociological interpreter had led to an impasse. ultimately this part of their project. then. the Kulaks. but it compelled him and his family rather to leave their homeland. and Gramsci therefore insisted that in principle all citizens were intellectuals. finally. for the Bolsheviks the vermin were a class enemy. But both social forces waged civil war against one particular part of the project in order to cleanse the world. rather. The debate about intellectuals is an old one. those who take themselves really seriously. like so many other modern intellectuals who insisted on their vocations. The Western discovery of Gramsci in this context was a phenomenon in its own right. Bauman’s working life took him through Tel Aviv to Canberra to settle. only where the Nazis sought to exterminate Jews. was in direct sympathy with that of the Nazis. Intellectuals. why should we not rule the world? As Bauman indicated. Gramsci. The Bolsheviks were less gardeners than surgeons. yet it remained part of the socialist utopia. of course. seeking to clean up the world once and for all. and it shows no signs of abating.
Post-Modernity and Intellectuals. or ideas and intellectual practices. when intellectuals and the Enlightenment began to generate some mischief. or the difference in context in which intellectual roles are performed. open to the prospects of explanation. philosophical rather than firmly historical or sociological. But it was on the cusp of retirement via a stay in Newfoundland that he produced Legislators and Interpreters: On Modernity. quite clearly distinct worldviews. more emphatically. however. in this way of thinking. So far. but the real point of distinction is the dominant image or model of intellectual activity in each. resides the difference between modernity and postmodernity? The two frames offer.” Nor. after Memories of Class. culture. As Bauman wrote: “In referring to intellectual practices. Control itself is bound into the idea and practice of social engineering. Part of this sensibility was openly Foucauldian. and control. had been formed (2). he obviously continued to write across that period. that most conspicuous attribute of modernity. The idea of intellectuals coincides with that of the Enlightenment. and the social world in particular. however limiting they are. For Bauman. refer largely to self-conscious cultural and artistic styles (3). For both modernism and its shadow. . the point of distinction at risk in the difference between “modernity” and “postmodernity” was primarily a matter of intellectual style.5 This was the next book. The postmodern might then usefully be viewed as ontological or epistemological. prediction. To use the conventional distinctions. is modernity the same as modernism. that for Bauman the power/knowledge syndrome. postmodernism. By this stage of the twentieth century. the opposition between the terms modern and post-modern stands for differences in understanding the nature of the world. And so Bauman made it clear that for him modernity and postmodernity were not phases or crystal-clear conceptual markers. the postmodern is then a phenomenon aligned with spirit. then. and in understanding the related nature. A new kind of state power coincided with a new form of intellectual discourse. of intellectual work” (3). we had some justifiable right to be skeptical about the claims of both. Modern and postmodern. he insisted. and purpose. Modernity presumes an image of the world as an ordered totality. according to Bauman. Bauman’s opening ambit was apparent. The two terms. of his own transition. it remains clear that the field we inhabit is modernity. For it was in this era. are not like “industrial” and “postindustrial” or “capitalist” and “postcapitalist. might then be periodized as successive historical sequences. rather. whether separately or together.152 Intellectuals and Utopians manager of sorts. Wherein.
as legislators. where hermeneutics could be . Effectivity of control and correctness of knowledge are tightly related. it does not abandon the universalistic ambitions of the intellectuals toward their own traditions (5). can be generalized in order to anticipate all future developments (as if!). Legislators and Interpreters was. in contrast. Interpreters maintain a great deal of power or influence. The postmodern intellectual is a translator. in this way. Bauman’s was a Weberian or Kantian case seeking to reclaim the distinction between proper spheres of analysis or activity. for as Bauman insisted. In contrast. then. the typically postmodern strategy of intellectual work is hermeneutic.Intellectuals and Utopians 153 planning. The legislator possesses final authority and ultimate knowledge. Interpreters do not decide on behalf of others. again. to facilitate communication between different autonomous participants. his power rests on the social distinction between those who know and those who do not. He or she translates statements made within one communally based tradition so that they can be understood within the system of knowledge based on another tradition. This. and though Bauman did not summon up this precise word here. Localism and relativism rule. For the real issue is the public claim of the intellectuals to power. not an arbiter. there are levels of meaning at work here that make all this persuasive. they seek. as phoney representatives of Reason or the People. then. Legislation calls upon general and schematic knowledge that. As Bauman explained. is the background against which types of intellectual activity are to be defined. when in actuality they have their own agenda to bear. The typically postmodern worldview. generates a plurality of models of order. The postmodern strategy. For the typically modern strategy of intellectual work is best characterized by the metaphor of the “legislator” role. Such is the extraordinary traditionalism of modernity. Bauman’s attempt to reconstruct a hermeneutical circle of his own. say. might in one sense be imagined as closer to the practice of a certain kind of anthropology than to mainstream sociology. Fundamentally. on the contrary. Yet these kinds of distinctions are bound to blur. as they implicitly did before the modern. Truth claims are connected to communities of meaning rather than higher or necessarily external goals. “the post-modern strategy does not imply the elimination of the modern one. as Max Weber said of bureaucracy. and mastery over nature. the postmodern strategy entails the abandonment of the universalistic ambitions of the intellectuals’ own tradition in the world. it cannot be conceived without the continuation of the latter” (5). rather. For although.
” according to Bauman. they cannot teach us how to act or when to say no. Yet the position of critique is not yet entirely clear. Intellectuals are ideologists. The philosophes were not intellectual entrepreneurs seeking to sell a paradigm. though Bauman did not invoke it here. Here. “To acquire excellence. “men must be taught. the frame of reference is reminiscent of Marx’s discussion of the emergence of the division of labor in The German Ideology. Via an extended discussion of the analysis of primitivism in the work of the anthropologist Paul Radin. however. Thus the ambivalence of the entire problem at hand: intellectuals are never only just power-hungry experts in the making. For as Bauman emphasized. Not that the road from interpretation to legislation was simple. They need teachers. In this. They need those who know” (33).154 Intellectuals and Utopians brought to bear on the problem of hermeneutics and its eclipse by managerial or legislative forms of knowledge and power (6). leading to the focus on exploitation rather than domination. it was domination that counted. For the long change associated with the Enlightenment privileges reason over experience. for whatever we can learn outside of us. one model for the intellectuals in formation was the “active utopia” of les philosophes (24). further entertain the possibility that the hermeneutic might be a return rather than a progressive or regressive shift. and they are defined relationally. modern society nevertheless resembles images of traditional society. Marx’s argument was still. for Bauman insisted that he did not want to view the shift from modern to postmodern as necessary or progressive. coming to the conclusion that humans most need instruction in what lies outside or beyond them. by the role they perform in the reproduction and development of the social figuration (19). Bauman introduced Michel Foucault’s critique of the “pastoral. at this point. Instead. Bauman returned to and departed from an earlier topic. ultimately. The process we have made familiar to ourselves under the name of the . He thus opened one possible path to his later discussion of the Holocaust and then ethics. The root of the contradiction can nevertheless be located within the field of education.” for it was the power/knowledge nexus to which he drew attention here. whatever procedures and rules we can learn or are taught. the aetiology of the intellectuals. Again. He did not. for Bauman. where proximity and the relative transparency of social relations ostensibly go together with higher degrees of stability and control. one concerning economy more than culture. Rather than referring here to Marx’s priests. Bauman arrived in effect at two provisional definitions.
is whether . and it is the specific image of cultivation here that drew out Bauman’s critical ire. Whether this is a fair representation of the Enlightenment. in Bauman’s argument here. however. in their own interests. was based on an attack on nature. too. and replaced Foucault as his marginal authority with Ernest Gellner. teachers. is rather that of Jean-Jacques Rousseau forcing people to be free (74). The great unwashed would have to be reeducated. historically speaking. valuing nature over culture. including the vagabonds and the motley members of the dangerous classes. Before our eyes. we saw the philosophers turning into legislators. For the emergence of modernity rested on the process of transforming wild cultures into garden cultures. was a heightened sense of actors within these formative institutions. and social scientists in their vanguard (67). The gardening state opened the way for eugenics. that is. like a grafted tomato or the blue rose. The good citizen could be grown. from the Panopticon to gardening. here. the critical question. The power presiding over modernity (the pastoral power of the state) was modeled on the role of the gardener (52). but this was also the beginning of a case in Bauman that led to Modernity and the Holocaust. Education would free us all of our prejudices. from the school to the poorhouse. Nazism. or cultivation. not only on rhapsody or rhetoric sung in praise of a weedless Black Forest. Whence came modernity and its penchant for regulation? It was as though the gamekeepers of an earlier moment had become gardeners. The men of the Enlightenment doubtless had the contempt for the rabble that Bauman described. The sensibilities underlying this critique seemed to be recognizably romantic. the hospital. with experts. to the exposure of Nazi theory and practice in antisemitism of constructing the Jew as the weed. however. What Bauman added to Foucault’s adoption of Jeremy Bentham. and the asylum. The practice of surveillance itself depends on the existence of a category of surveillors (47). for the Kantian idea of regulation as self-regulation seems to disappear from these pages. The gardener became the image of that pattern of social engineering that in turn defined modernity. All of nature needed to be civilized. For the far-reaching consequence of the asymmetry of surveillance is the demand for a specialist in a position of supervision. But at this point Bauman changed metaphors.Intellectuals and Utopians 155 Industrial Revolution has changed this by generating a category of vagabonds or “masterless men” and their attendant institutions of disciplinary control. is another issue. The specialists had arrived just in time to save us all. super vision. Its central figure.
(94) At this point of the argument. civilizations (93). in other words. Marx’s own obsession with changing the world rather than merely interpreting it places his legacy squarely within the tradition of thinking that Bauman was rejecting here. marxism then became a theory of state-planned modernization. actually existing. Bauman turned more directly to discuss ideology. . to civilize is not a qualitatively different act than to enact culture. as Bauman intimated. the later Marx lost the balance that had earlier seen him weigh up the respective gains and losses of modernity. if the West has given us. knowledge could lead to a certain kind of collective mastery. had changed? Marx now appeared to Bauman. Instead. For Bauman. in any case. The singular ideal of “civilization” has always pitted itself against the actual contents of other. remained. the modern project of democracy. marxism became the mirror of production. for example. too. The pox of humanism here meant not only that nothing could be left alone but that everything was open to change. Yet this was also part of the worldview that had sustained Bauman from the 1940s to the 1960s. in turn. What. as an unqualified modernist (112). it has also simultaneously given us the civilizing project in its dirtiest sense. Entrapped within modern significations. or to cultivate. If the project of the Enlightenment is reduced to its tutelary outcome in education or instruction. And in this regard. lest it should take shapes unacceptable and damaging to social order. as per Marshall Berman’s portrayal in All That Is Solid Melts into Air. we are all in consequence far poorer indeed. Savants wanted not only to explain the world but also to save it. It was the Marx that stretched out through Trotsky who turned most fully from the spirit of Prometheus to that of Faust the developer (113). much like an unattended field is swamped with weeds and has little to offer its owner. as I shall suggest later. Bauman. it seems to me that it is Faustianism rather than humanism that best deserved Bauman’s critical contempt. For Marx. human life and conduct appeared now as something which needed to be formed. Yet it is indubitably the case that.6 Marx. as for Cornelius Castoriadis and Jean Baudrillard. discussed the image of Faustian man but connected him here with Nietzsche rather than Marx. then.156 Intellectuals and Utopians this exhausts their contribution to modern culture. I think. For Bauman. As Bauman wrote: The forms human life and conduct assumed did not seem any more part of the “nature of things” or part of a divine order which would neither need nor stand human intervention. including the humanist ideology of marxism.
For Bauman the postmodern referred usefully not to an alleged change of epoch or to the arrival of “postmodern times” but to this change in attitude or self-consciousness. How so? Three factors are involved.Intellectuals and Utopians 157 both a romantic and a classicist. both in historical and in conceptual terms. Third. Yet it was Marx whose visage remained on Bauman’s study wall in Leeds. At this point in Bauman’s own project. So the postmodern is necessarily continuous with the modern. It implies that the . remains continuous with these older worlds and their problems. in another sense. yet his sense was also that from our vantage point. At the same time. The philosophical discourse of modernity became both self-referential and self-validating (115– 16). The idea of the postmodern is significant if only because it offers a margin for critical maneuver or detachment from these positions. Marx began to appear at least as much the problem as the resource for its interpretative solution. What becomes open to question is whether the classical sociological interpretations. Second. Thus the irony. there is. the critiques of modernity were all “inside” views. a manic century later. of various postmodern critiques of modernity that insist on their novelty and nevertheless reproduce. . Bauman’s level of sympathy with classical sociology of this critical kind was high. and it is Marx’s critical spirit that animates much of his work. whether industrial or post-industrial. is about the credibility of “modernity” itself as a self-designation of Western civilization. managed to determine either the uniqueness of modernity or the continuity of its concerns with all hitherto existing social forms. Or. nothing “outside” the modern or the global. its principle of the irreversibility of change. the critical consensus conceived of modernity in critical terms. as an essentially unfinished project. capitalist or post-capitalist. For our new world. often. more precisely. the first attitude of classical sociology. brave or not. as Bauman consistently was given to emphasize. a view that is itself quintessentially modernist in substance (117). from Marx to Georg Simmel. the critical classics tended to assume the irreversible character of the changes that modernity signified or else brought in its wake. for example. The postmodern is a manifestation of the crisis in modern. the ways available to us to look at the world seemed more diverse and contingent in nature. the world also looked rather different. and modernizing mentalities: The post-modernist discourse . as well as an ideologue and a revolutionary modernist. First. however. The postmodern often presumes an end to the conception or epoch of modernity. .
its ultimate message is ethical. We do not have the ethical right to decide for others if this means trying to help . And third. north and south. less unachieved than simply unachievable. and the grounds (or the absence of grounds) for such consciousness. for if high modernity is not modern. cannot resist calling back to those behind us that it only gets worse the further we progress. say. But this also would mean that the “premodern” is probably “modern” in various different ways. the postmodern attitude reflects a basic unease with high modernity and its humanistic claims of individual perfectibility to be achieved via social engineering. one cannot but help from time to time contemplating whether we have generated too much civilization. First. the postmodern is a debate about. for it is not practically the case that culture thinks through subjects or actors but rather that they. or open to change. The post-modernist debate is about the self-consciousness of Western society. Yet it is also this unease with our worlds and ourselves that drives the critical enterprise that in turn sustains sociology. perhaps did not hold yesterday either. or morally dutiful. (118) The emphases are characteristic of Bauman’s thinking and are worth dwelling on.158 Intellectuals and Utopians self-ascribed attitudes contained in the idea of modernity do not hold today. or Western middle-class radicals in particular?—are no longer convinced that these ends are either possible or desirable. then. It is as though we. The ethical problems raised in a global register by these kinds of claims have long been identified as Eurocentric. a question of how we see ourselves. further down the path to the abyss of futile consumer hedonism. we. economy or history in the first instance. in this case. the privileged. what does it mean to speak of modernity at all? Perhaps it is rather the case that we have always been modern. we— many of us. Second. there is at least one way in which the most modern of totalitarian actors and subjects are also the most excessively traditionalistic. or a critique of. What Bauman thought we cannot do is to translate this interpretation directly into legislation. even though the argument here refers primarily to culture and has a historical inflection. and. At century’s end. the argument looks backward as well as forward: we may never have been modern in any thoroughgoing sense. neither is early modernity. To put it in plainer terms. culture rather than. think through culture. as Bauman showed so painfully in Modernity and the Holocaust. this is the case for all concerned. indeed. the modernist or boosterist model of modernity may be impossible. As Marx observed somewhere. The postmodern is also.
Even so. or of the world. which explains the predominance of the images of pastiche or collage. it should be the primary universal right of all peoples to make their own mistakes. how should we live? and with it remains the traditionalistic and modernist insistence that the moral responsibility of intellectuals is to tell others (our readers) how to live. To view the . the logic of interpretation so that what we or others routinely call the postmodern also includes the practice of hermeneutics. whether artistic or political. that they have to decide for themselves. whether in politics or aesthetics. The point is not that we should each of us cease to judge. Bauman proceeded to connect this theme to Weber’s Protestant ethic. not less. to speak the truth as we see it. For if the intellectual obsession with classification always carries with it the act of valuation. It is this sense of difference that has been lost in the rush of modern intellectuals to become legislators of taste. but they included Richard Rorty with his relativism and Hans-Georg Gadamer with his hermeneutics. Yet in this situation the ethical problem remains. which he presented as a sociological myth. henceforth. it is a call only for a different style of dispute. So this is a call for more debate and argument. This would mean recognizing that if we all inhabit the one world. the question remains. again. even surrealism is no longer iconoclastic (130). should no longer dream of themselves as heroes. can behave more authoritatively in their own communities of scholars than they can in the community at large. Philosophers. to the contrary. To behave otherwise is to behave as though it is only the other who is capable of mistakes. If this is the case. The implication is clear: intellectuals should embrace. but. the final claim of intellectuals remains Martin Luther’s. It is as though. we also at the same time occupy different life worlds. are bound to collapse. both of them traditionalists of different sorts (144). we can do no other. or of evil. is ethical rather than aesthetic. avants-gardes. for the absence of all clearly defined rules of the game renders innovation impossible. for Bauman. The ultimate register of decision. Bauman’s own debating partners were various. or at least as a myth made for and by sociologists. The issue then becomes one of community and of whether we inherit or make the communities we inhabit or hope for. then.Intellectuals and Utopians 159 others avoid their own mistakes. in other words. Intellectuals. But the unpalatable truth in the story told by Bauman is different: all we can tell others is the hardest thing. that the fragility or provisionality of judgment must be recognized. and this regardless of whether we view ourselves as modern or postmodern.
it is the figure of the sociologist that acts as the censor or puritan (152–53). we cede our autonomy to the institutions that control us at the very same moment that we style ourselves independent. the dominant cultural model today is rather remissive or hedonistic. We end up looking like the Marlboro Man. and not only the proletariat. Culture is tragic rather than humanizing. more than anyone else. Against the sociological projection of puritanism. of the sorcerer’s apprentice. mavericks. and he himself aspired to greatness. with an aura of strength and independence yet held up by the highway posters of the culture industry. . or outsiders. the projection involved revealed that the interpretative heroes were we sociologists. in that sense. and stoical. Whether the puritan was the figure of the capitalist or the sociologist or whether he was entirely fictive. involves a projection. And even postmodern culture. Ours is the story. puritans. in other words. is delivered up to us daily by the market. The critique of alienation also indicated Marx’s own sense of having been misplaced by a history out of joint. still after all these years.160 Intellectuals and Utopians arrival of capitalism as something other than intentional was one thing. What was more striking. Bauman’s interpretation of Weber here is stunning and reveals perhaps more clearly than elsewhere his relative indifference to the formal corpus of Weber’s work. The sociologist has become the Man of Reason. which is exactly the thesis of Bauman’s book. this new critique of critical criticism. As Bauman wrote: “In the myth of the puritan. for Bauman. His interpretation is as shocking as it is idiosyncratic. like toothpaste or cornflakes (163). Bauman called on the support of Richard Sennett and John Carroll. The contrast implied is nevertheless difficult to avoid: if the modern or postmodern personality is hedonistic. for the new world of capitalists was one that denied him a place in history. We drown amid our cultural achievements because their abundance blinds us to each other. interpreters become legislators. was the sense that the intellectuals. If the noble captains of industry were the obvious tragic heroes of this story. righteous. The Protestant ethic. hardworking. to this critic of Weber. they immortalized a mirror reflection of themselves” (149). as Simmel argued. Yet a moment’s reflection also reveals its immense power of suggestion. at least in its philosophical dimensions. serves rather to numb than to enable us (156–57). supported by the very agent that poisons us. the surplus of its achievements. As intellectuals. just as by extension we could say that Marx’s critique of alienation includes a projection. For Weber plainly was nostalgic for a lost world inhabited by great men. liked Weber’s tale immensely.
“Without the second of these two nations. those of exploiters and exploited. in that sense. and this is what generates the critique of modernity and its illusions. If the market economy is now the kingdom of freedom. Our two nations are those of the seduced and the repressed. for human beings are smarter and more resilient than that. at work here is an insider-outsider dialectic of the most extraordinary quality. for the postmodern must also be viewed sociologically. in this way of thinking. or creatures of habit. as there were when Benjamin Disraeli first discerned the dichotomy in Sybil. in the old language. for example. It is as though the sense of loss encountered in modernity is precisely civilizational or. precisely because. and it involved both a sense of loss and some sense of continuity in the form of anthropological street wisdom. that peasants or proletarians come to be portrayed as stereotypical heroes. but it does not impinge directly on our souls. but we are not idiots. So it is. The flaws of the socialist imagination and those of sociology are often connected. still two nations in Britain. Indeed. Thus Bauman damned the world of consumption but also decried the exclusion of the poor from its apparent rewards and riches. persistence. bourgeoisie and proletariat (169). cultural. he concluded. For the undercurrent in Bauman’s worldview remained. The irony of the way in which intellectuals identify with History or Progress. There are now. as though it constrains us powerfully and yet brings out the best in us. there is nevertheless a particular sense in which their fortunes across recent times have . he was clearly not in all this giving up the right to judge. Bauman criticized sociology persistently but never deserted it. We do see ourselves in the mirror of consumption. Modernity becomes second nature. “the picture of the post-modern world is totally incomplete” (169). it is a culture that is delivered (or denied) through an economy. the striking social division is that between those who can participate in this world and those who are excluded from it. We may be fools. as it were. For consumer culture can satisfy only our second natures. and innovation.” Bauman wrote. although the history of sociology should never be reduced to that of marxism.Intellectuals and Utopians 161 But if Bauman sought to avoid the narcissistic self-projection of the sociologist as hero. routine. and for us— as creatures of ambivalence—it is exactly this that appeals. is that they also insist on insinuating others into the picture. however. but we do not recognize the whole of our being there. and to judge harshly. as creatures of habit. We retain our need for dignity and freedom. The two nations are no longer those of Disraeli or Marx. Thus our most ambivalent of sociologists returned to the path of sociology.
Marxists have long claimed to know and to represent the interests of the workers better than the workers could themselves. socialists included. The radical intellectual is the pantomime proletarian. Bauman did not use these words here. but his arguments were caught up with representation and social ventriloquism. Bauman’s purpose here. They both project their own problems and insecurities onto others and deny that their interest is in between that of those who rule and those who are dominated. probably they would rather kick a football than get really serious. was less to resolve the issue itself than to argue forcefully for its recognition. there is therefore a kind of weird sense in which marxists magically become the proletariat made articulate in a kind of substitutionism that even the young Trotsky might have marveled at. left to themselves. the proletariat would fail to come up with much. where the “Progress of Reason” involved a process in which the fact of factory confinement was substituted for what memory held alive as the image of the freedom of the petty producer (174).162 Intellectuals and Utopians been intertwined. The middle classes. which results in the combination of all rights with no responsibilities. this is only because the intellectual has constructed the proletarian in his . was until recently too painful for us to recognize. But at the same time this is an issue more easily identified than resolved. were so entranced by their own civilizing mission as to occlude their vision when it came to popular desire. the son or daughter of the people until the people get out of hand. institutional representation also remains a political fact. even if this fact. however. the ambiguity of legislation and interpretation is built into the position of the modern intellectual itself. Lenin agreed with Kautsky that. Marx’s views were more complicated but remained ambiguous. for intellectuals are both narcissistic and self-denying. If the proletarian therefore lets the intellectual down. he presumed that the members of the working class were capable of self-organization but analyzed the problem away in what Lukács later constructed as the epistemologically privileged proletariat. in turn. for better or for worse. But this dream of reason could not hold. positing alongside this the simultaneous sense that only those who had really understood Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel could respectably call themselves marxists (175). So here Bauman’s thinking connected back to Memories of Class. in the process making invisible the specificity of their own project or ambition. In other words. If social ventriloquism is a moral problem. for representation nevertheless remains a fact of modern life. they identify with superiors or inferiors as they choose.
surplus to the system’s need. that Bauman’s work meets up with Jeremy Seabrook’s. away. they are known to consume outside of market circulation. Yet this pair of others is not like that bourgeois and proletarian. those without goods or hope. sex. then. So class remains an actuality. that the dysfunctional can now be held up as examples. The outsiders. or rather. against each other implacably. sucked the lifeblood from labor. in Marx’s image. even as some categories of the population are being redefined as economically redundant. are the cultural other of those elegant yuppies who spend money as if there was no tomorrow. today we are faced with the puzzle of capitalism after labor. and video have generated a world that makes Weber’s Protestant ethic seem a universe. rather than merely a lifetime. as it were. in turn. glitz. The old marxian theorem that the unemployed belonged to a reserve army no longer holds. an example to be followed. and at this point Bauman began to develop what became a standard claim in his work. in the meantime. They are not good consumers. Whereas marxists hitherto pondered the prospects of labor after capitalism. set. to make good the transition from the old. Even worse. they have better things to do than listen to the hectoring speeches of others. bearers of two different cultures. as the rest of us scramble to keep up paid work. in Bauman’s words “a pioneer on the road . their consumption does not matter much for the successful reproduction of capital (181). The “achiever” is rather a trend setter. And this is part of the problem. productive way of life to that of consumptive bliss. at least in the Fordist sense. and neon or risk repression and harassment. most notably Landscapes of Poverty (1985) (186). stubbornly persist in identifying themselves as they will. That capitalism which. as human scarecrows. on this account. Legislators and Interpreters. lies. Today we are locked into economic life less by the imperative to sell our labor power than by the proliferation of things to consume. being moved on endlessly at other people’s insistence. For Bauman. The workers. an antisocial act if ever there was one. this new postmodern population can either be seduced by consumerism. So it is in this text. has been replaced historically by the international mobile phone.Intellectuals and Utopians 163 or her own heroic image. The new poor fail. the don’t-call-us of footloose finance (179). for the institutionalization of the working class by capitalism was never fully realized and is now again unraveling. for there is an apparent connection between personal income and expenditure. vampirelike. then. as labor is being expelled from Fordist capitalism. The virtual realities of endless orgasmic consumption.
beyond redemption. the coincidence is enough to make one wonder how much plausibility Bauman gave to this “modern” conclusion. and the promise of modernity needs to be redeemed” (191). Here the general scenario is that the puritan gives way to the consumer. offering two conclusions. the “potential of modernity is still untapped. Markets rule. Bauman’s terms of reference in this modernist scenario are evidently Habermasian. If. he thought. one each in modern and postmodern style. Modernity in this sense has failed (191). then. The oppressed are no longer imagined as the antithesis of the system. To argue in this way. He did so by returning to the two possible optics before us. in The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life (1915). or perhaps it has merely lived up to the blackest sociological scenarios anticipated by Weber or Simmel. Bauman’s modern conclusion to Legislators and Interpreters invokes the spirit of classical sociology with its core concern. and a confirmation that aspiring is realistic” (187). we can only be enjoined to catch up. is nevertheless to hold open the principle of redemption. This is a world of hedonism where cynicism reigns. In any case. had to protest. at least for some of us. rather. as Bauman recognized. his personal sympathies were more old-fashioned. to run faster. consumption replaces needs and transforms identity.164 Intellectuals and Utopians everyone must aspire to follow. they are the failed attempts of the mediocre to fly (193). the old utopian. which in a way surprises us given the effective absence of Jürgen Habermas’s work from Bauman’s analysis in this text. even for moderns. utopianism ruled (194). bracketing the poor and oppressed out of the social picture. in principle. Bauman’s postmodern conclusion seems more resonant with the sympathies of his book. It is as though Bauman recast Durkheim’s insistence. that we can combine the dual values of personal autonomy and societal rationality (192). For although his purpose was plainly to criticize the modern. socially or sociologically invisible. But at this point Bauman closed this book. Within these parameters it is impossible to criticize this endless noonward race. there will be ways in which the postmodern involves more senses of gain than of loss. And as the foregoing shows. that the society that has . however. his stated intention was also to avoid viewing the postmodern merely as its victorious or superior historical replacement. that capitalism unregulated would erode society as we knew it. On this account. Bauman’s analytical sympathies stretched toward the idea of the postmodern as the critique of the modern. Bauman. Yet he did insist that the modern prospect remains open: we still strive toward the possibility.
but then the task of explaining modernity would remain. his is only the Weberian reminder that forms of . a strategy in itself (198). as a lapsed marxist? No more so than on the part of the rest of us. as it were. to its own possibilities. It was not Bauman’s claim that we can do without intellectuals. Philosophers are permitted to abuse philosophy. Thus do we speak authentically in one voice to our colleagues and in another to our enemies. or legislation. So how can we do better without endlessly retreading these old paths? The essential clue to the postmodern alternative in Bauman’s work remains with the idea of interpretation. Bauman. The refusal of strategy is still. or at least Reason and State. in contrast. that is” (198). The attempt to make utopia raises the question of the status of Jacobinism. I think. The limit of utopia. It remains morally necessary for someone to call the injustices of the world we have made. for internal consumption. with the project of les philosophes. We might choose to criticize this identification on analytical or historical grounds. For we may well be prepared to grant that modernity is by nature ambivalent. but then the postmodern huns arrive at the academy door. Utopia should remain in the realm of hope rather than program. in Bauman’s argument. Conclusions: Out. but how does that help us explain the damage done in its name? Bauman’s achievement in this context is that he contributed more. in one residual respect. closed. without undue fear of inconsistency. thought that the society that cannot sustain a plurality of imagined futures is already dead. emerges as connected to its operationalizability. Was this a confession on his part. offering to confirm the diagnosis of the philosophers by closing the university. at least. Bauman’s temptation was to identify Jacobinism and the Enlightenment. Toward Understanding The path of the twentieth century may well lead from utopia to dystopia. Modernity opens the skies on our sense of possibility. even if it leaves us entering the new millennium clutching only showbags or glossy brochures. as he put it in discussion of Rorty. and in sociology it is just the same. Bauman’s final conclusion is. ending up in the brochure or in Disney World. Until further cuts. to step out of his text altogether: “Rorty’s anti-strategy seems to fit very well the autonomy and the institutionally encouraged concern of academic philosophy with its own self-reproduction. to the sociology of intellectuals than any other such writer in the twentieth century.Intellectuals and Utopians 165 no image of itself—no tradition or vision—will surely die. in effect.
The more damning is this: what a disaster modernity has been. is what centrality of place and value it has given to ideas and to their bearers. Utopian horizons count along with traditional horizons. (2000) . The point is that. to the legacy of aristocratic radicalism worked out through critical theory. we hoped for human perfectibility. will never only bring the mail. more powerful. the age of ideology. I think remains more resonant in Bauman’s work. The oddity about modernity. in this regard. to do better. at the end of the day. Second nature remains misleading. various interpretations or conclusions can be drawn from this assessment. Some interpreters will also bear utopias. and not the other way around. or was. metaphorically speaking. in any case. which we can accept or reject or pass on for the consideration of others. As Bauman indicated. and this is why we are bound to muddle through. Modernity truly is. The latter. occasionally shooting the messenger. and habits. say. it becomes apparent that language matters as communication. but this holds true only as it reveals to us the worst and the best of its potentiality. in turn is this: perhaps we still need to persist. We believed in the possibility of reform. We still retain our own ways of going on. Yet the messenger. the more modest. Bauman’s project seems to retain the sense that humans do not fully internalize the disasters of the cultures or civilizations that they inhabit. the hermeneut. whether real or imagined or both. In Bauman’s work. activities. the political opinion of the intellectual is worth no more than that of any other citizen. implication.166 Intellectuals and Utopians authority should not be inflated or illegitimately transferred from one sphere into another. cultures. For contrary. we intellectuals.
so that to be after modernity (or at least. after 167 . Where is communism. more explicitly political. Americanism is its boosterist capitalist version. this may well be because it has another. or communist humanism. differently. then. target in Bolshevism. For his life’s commitment. or perhaps it should be Communism and Modernity. in political terms. or. to utopia. Communism survives. for it ghosts us all. communism appears as the core narrative of modernity. as a ghost. in Bauman’s work? In one way. to Polish reconstruction after the devastation of the war. those on the left or those who came from it. The intellectuals who sought directly to legislate—and did so—were not the philosophes but the Bolsheviks.Twelve Modernity and Communism: Zygmunt Bauman and the Other Totalitarianism Zygmunt Bauman’s most influential work is without doubt Modernity and the Holocaust.3 If it is the case that Legislators and Interpreters does not fully hit its own target. It is Legislators and Interpreters. Nazism is the racial imperialist or human engineering modernity par excellence.2 I have suggested that there is a samizdat text on communism in Bauman’s project.4 This echoes further in the way in which for Bauman the postmodern also meant the postmarxist. Part of the marxist story is inextricably bound up with the Soviet experience. no Modernity and Communism. In my book Zygmunt Bauman: Dialectic of Modernity. was to the left. as in Legislators and Interpreters. to socialism. the enlighteners.1 There is no companion in his work to Modernity and the Holocaust.
As we read Bauman’s work. even as it connected to communism and fascism in different ways. it might be tempting to add a fourth. Against the Frankfurt School. as in Latin America or East Asia. and fascist—across the twentieth century. this difference in Bauman’s work serves to remind us that if his is a critical theory. though neither of the classics. have something in common with all three of these. and the theme of utopia persisted in his thought. social democratic modernity. but rather that it cannot lay claim to the category of a separate modernity rather than a particular type of political regime within it (though the persistence of a Scandic model remains significant here). As Bauman put it in Modernity and Ambivalence. for unlike fascist rationality. Modernity and the Holocaust. Developmental regimes. also signals or anticipates the idea of alternative or multiple modernities. communism was a direct and self-conscious extension of one stream of enlightenment rationality. against it. for they are all models of modernization. its orienting point alongside the Holocaust is its East European context. paradoxically. This is not to say that social democracy was politically indefensible. larger themes cut across this field: totalitarianism and utopia. Yet Bauman remained. communist. no matter how compromised it may have become. then. One Dimensional Man came close enough to arguing that all modernity was totalitarian. Dialectic of Enlightenment.168 Modernity and Communism modernism) also means to be after actually institutionalized marxism in its Soviet and satellite form. rather than (as per Bolshevism) as an image of a world . Bolshevism genetically was social democracy’s hot-headed younger brother. To think across Bauman’s work. there must have been at least three primary forms of modern Western regime—liberal capitalist. Bauman’s work grows out of it. or complementary to it. at the same time. Where members of the Frankfurt School were relatively silent on communism. directly fits our needs. From my perspective. The shadow texts here might be those of the Frankfurt School. even as utopia itself persisted as a necessary noplace. Totalitarianism is used here as a term of convenience. might itself be read as an anticipatory critique of communism. Herbert Marcuse’s One Dimensional Man or Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno’s Dialectic of Enlightenment. Two other.5 Yet social democracy from Weimar to Bad Godesberg was also liberal capitalist. the Bolshevik and Nazi experiences need to be aligned rather than identified or radically separated. a charge that misreaders of Bauman have been known to direct at Modernity and the Holocaust. a socialist. alongside it.
workers and intellectuals alike. like Petr Tkachev. perhaps. There is. Less than spontaneism. whatever the cost. Their compatriot Leszek Kolakowski noted the affinity in his 1971 critique of Bauman’s “Pleading for Revolution. here it is both Bolshevism and reformism that are the problem. his sociological sensibility was more open to the role of the peasants. for the Bolsheviks were prepared to commit murder for noble rather than ignoble ends. These notes are offered as hints for those who follow.Modernity and Communism 169 to be achieved. As in the work of Bauman’s teacher. The Soviet Experience Various commentators have identified the centrality of Antonio Gramsci to Bauman’s project. viewed the peasants as the battering ram destined to smash the existing order out of pure rage. for here the problematic is framed by Marx. however. Alongside the samizdat critique of Bolshevism in Legislators and Interpreters.”6 All the sympathies are there—the view from below. leaving power to the revolutionary minority who . he was ambivalent about both types of social actors. a fellow Pole. Where the Final Solution was rational in its own terms. a murderous solution to a Nazi-defined “Jewish problem. the keen opposition to “barracks socialism. Unlike the Nazis. peasantry. For the Bolsheviks did violence to their people in their own name.”8 where it is Barrington Moore rather than Rosa Luxemburg who sets the scene. whose presence can be felt in his work.” the ethics of communism were worse than those of fascism. This ambivalence toward utopia connects back to the problem of enlightenment. This is Rosa Luxemburg. This is especially apparent in his 1985 Leeds sociology paper “Stalin and the Peasant Revolution: A Case Study in the Dialectics of Master and Slave. this was supposed to be some kind of compensation for their victims. The murders were committed in the name of noble ends. unlike Luxemburg. Julian Hochfeld. Vladimir Lenin. Thus the irony of the fellow-traveling insistence that Stalinism was superior to Nazism because it sought to improve Humanity. and modernization. the Bolsheviks meant well. and Bauman would be the first to agree. another marxist soulmate. there is in Bauman’s work a sense that the world keeps moving.” the maturational sense that history will not be forced. there are two other fields of analysis of communism in Bauman’s work. with Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel of course to come. the other Poland in particular.7 If Bauman shared this old sense that Bolshevism forced history where reformism merely rolls with it. however. now. One addresses the Soviet experience.
The same impulse informed Bauman’s response in the Telos symposium on the classic Dictatorship over Needs. in consequence. in the first instance. was that the peasants were not really interested in communism. Socialism was born as the counterculture of capitalism. and needs (this was the same moment. In Bauman’s words. a legitimate offspring of the bourgeois revolution eager to continue the work that the latter had started but failed to complete. But stealing becomes universalized. when Bauman brought this kind of Foucauldian critique to bear on the primitive accumulation of capitalist relations in Memories of Class. Having painted themselves into a political corner. “The horror of the peasant beast on the loose was never to leave them—until the master would murder the slave. not the noble Jacobins but the peasants. that dictatorship is about control. The problem. it is Dictatorship over Needs that fills the gap in Bauman’s work. absolutely not historical throwbacks. which means that the ethics of everyday life are jaundiced and larger hopes of autonomy dashed. over bodies. 1982). Bauman accepted this psychological take. and George Markus. by Ferenc Fehér. For there is a sense in which. For Bauman. pre-industrial country. Peasants steal to live. it was this unholy alliance between Bolsheviks and peasants that became a new dialectic of masters and slaves. Here Bauman connected rationalism and the social engineering of the Enlightenment project with capitalism and socialism. souls. not to get rich. As Bauman wrote: “The possibility that this would happen was created by the original sin of deciding to force the socialist utopia upon an overwhelmingly peasant. Here its legacy is. again. as Robert Michels wrote Political Parties so that Max Weber did not have to (and Friedrich Engels did Karl Marx a favor in Anti-Dühring. all these remaining of course the views of the writers rather than the others). among other things. but they were.170 Modernity and Communism would start the real revolution. of course. not capitalist.”10 Bauman revisited these issues in the 1986 Telos symposium on Soviet peasants. it is the peasantry that plays the central role of the Bolshevik tragedy. The argument parallels that in Modernity and the Holocaust in its implications: . Agnes Heller.”9 The revolution devoured its children. ethical. the two locked together in asymmetric dependence just as Hegel had described. turning into the slave of his own crime. even though it is now a minority class. of course. Here. Bauman accepted categorically the sense of the Hungarians that Soviettype societies are modern—not lapsarian socialist. the Bolsheviks then destroyed themselves. deprived of any possible options. The master found himself at the mercy of his slave.
without being a sequence to capitalism or an alternative form of industrial society. and they are local and specific but powerfully sociological. And thus it contains important lessons for the rest of the world. those experiences did not in themselves capture what followed in the experience of Eastern Europe. what does this mean for its echoes in Budapest. the liberal face of which is apparent in incarceration. for the twentieth century was the Age of the Camps. Prague. If it is meaningful to describe the Soviet Union as Stalinist. only similar. East European Modernity How can one best explain these similarities and differences? Plainly Bauman rejected one analytical temptation. Yet if the genocidal urge of these regimes was ineluctable. Bauman’s essays available in English on Polish experience all combine the language of class and elite in the Weberian sense: class as appropriate . The next problem then emerged: how to explain the foundational Soviet experience in its connection to the satellites in Eastern Europe.12 Here the critiques of the Final Solution and of Dictatorship over Needs meet to indicate the necessity of a sociology of modern violence. sui generis in itself? Bauman maintained an appropriate degree of ambivalence about this classificatory bind. which was to subsume Soviet and German totalitarianism. or is each case. Auschwitz meets the gulag in the modernist will to order. for it is. and Warsaw? Is it meaningful to talk about Soviet-type societies as sui generis. And if they were exemplary of the dark side of modernity. explanans rather than explanandum that matters. is nonetheless no freak or refractory event in European history. for it sets the idea of a social rationality against that of individual rationalities by substituting state order for individual autonomy. its failure indicates the renewed possibility of grassroots movements. Bauman was suggesting that we should no longer live in the shadow of the Age of Reason. Moreover. of course. Its claims to the legacy of the Enlightenment or to the unfulfilled promises of the bourgeois revolution are neither pretentious nor grotesque. What did Bauman tell us about Poland? His analyses of Poland are acute. Its failure indicates the hiatus of all socialist utopias and at the same time puts the global drive to rationality and order on notice.11 The Soviet system is an acid test for the Enlightenment utopia. By the time of Postmodern Ethics. Poland in this instance.Modernity and Communism 171 To sum up: the Soviet system. as in the Polish Solidarity (and here there is again an echo of Rosa Luxemburg). the regimes were not identical.
with reference to the distinction between the revolutionary political skills of the pioneers and the routine administrative skills of those who followed. but in its institutional forms it represented ladders to be climbed.172 Modernity and Communism to economic life. in this regard.” Into the 1960s. rational legal—but may fit a fourth category. This generational curiosity was connected to the Weberian interest in personality types.15 Nevertheless. drawing specific attention to leadership styles and rationalities. or what Michels called career escalators in the case of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). Bauman’s analyses of Polish communism are also consistently historical or generational. Socialism might have been about good or evil intentions.14 In Bauman’s selfunderstanding. .13 Here party connections work as the transmission belt or line of the available “fixers. rather it represents a web of dependencies. It also registered an acute sensitivity to the Weberian sensibility regarding shortage and endless struggles over goods material and symbolic. not least as Bauman offered a marxisant twist on the idea of patrimonialism as referring to the issue of the “futuristic” rather than the traditional legitimation of the partynomial ruling authority in Poland. too. or what he separated as “officialdom” and “class. it was Weber who offered the animating spirit here. His contention was that the socialist societies that emerged in the last half century in Eastern Europe do not fit Weber’s proverbial categories—traditional. party connections in the work sphere were increasingly technocratic rather than ideological. Bauman’s critique of Soviet-type societies rests on the Michelslike sense that socialism. Into the 1970s. where it is rule of the party rather than strictly rule of the fathers that is predominant. preeminently the Communist Party. this also followed Marx. was an alternative career ladder. and Mother Russia shifted Soviet legitimation from future to past. like the military or clergy in other circumstances. for his curiosity was not about Stalin or Soviet foundationalism but about the East European results of Yalta. and the distinction between the two-class model of the Manifesto and the multiclass model implicit in The Eighteenth Brumaire. Power is not bourgeois. for example.” as the bases of inequality in socialist society. as interpreted by Julian Hochfeld. parallel to patrimonialism. Bauman did not make the point here—it was central to Heller’s contribution to Dictatorship over Needs ten years later—that Stalin’s reinvention of tradition. elites as political leaders. charismatic. Bauman’s essays extended this Weberian interest in the duality of power structures. the Great Patriotic War.
Yet the problem of equality seems to have been in the realm of class structure. for bread and freedom. The dialectic of master and slave appeared again. so there was little obvious room for maneuver where large groups whose interests were definable in terms of freedom and equality could act in concert. Fourth. Second. There was no direct correspondence between officialdom-generated and class-generated inequalities. neither of which was entirely reducible to the other. where (as George Lichtheim put it) Marx explained base and Weber superstructure. party rather than person was the object of loyalty. not traditionalistic. planning and the will to order nevertheless relied on markets. First. itself manifest as officialdom and class. Blut. Bauman’s case was that the two essential planes of inequality in Eastern Europe did not overlap. could not here be voiced as one. As a result. not genetic. and faith in the desirability of the social order replaced respect for tradition. however. then. The oldest socialist demand. The peculiarity of this structure was apparent in political terms. or Boden. Loyalty to the party took the place of obedience to the person of the ruler. for here the demand for freedom often meant freedom of market forces.17 As Bauman noted. these claims were to the society of the future. this was not a case of the common weberian-marxist addition.18 Each individual in these societies was a member of two largely independent power structures: officialdom and class. as in master and slave. in the socialist societies of Eastern Europe each individual’s situation was shaped by two relatively autonomous and to an extent antagonistic power structures. their claims to legitimacy were futuristic.16 Fifth. Third. determination of macro social processes. The plan was the major instrument of teleological determination. the vanguard legitimation of partynomial authority required teleological.Modernity and Communism 173 Bauman enumerated the features of partynomial rule as follows. The Polish rulers authorized by Stalin were not about to destroy themselves in the way that the Soviets did. the struggle of plurality and market principles meant that there was a permanent and dual structure of inequality and a duality of power elite that reflected this. Plan and market were mutually dependent. in this tension between state and market. not to Mother Russia. while the problem of freedom was related to officialdom. We speak of the emergence of capitalism but of the construction of socialism. nor did they show any capacity to generate structures open to political change or . where there emerged a kind of populist alliance between party and workers—against managers and professionals.
At the same time that market forms of delivery indicated a shift from “welfare state” to “welfare individualism” after 1956 in Poland. new Polish workers were still culturally peasant. Paradoxically.21 In 1968. but the way they were played out was shaped in large part by indigenous factors. In Poland.23 Features common to Soviet-type societies nevertheless included a “new middle class. Polish industrialization came later. They could pretend to work. goods also work as signs: there is a semiotic role of consumption. or outside the state. whether in Poland or later in Blair’s Britain.” In sympathy with Luxemburg. a new alliance might result not from a new common goal so much as from a common dissatisfaction with a social reality mutually perceived as unbearable. no such alliance could be achieved. susceptible to the attractions of urban consumerism and drawn to political quiescence. In Czechoslovakia workers and intellectuals united against the regime.174 Modernity and Communism social reconstruction from within. again. while the rulers could pretend to rule.” where access to education was the key.” Joseph Stalin in 1937 and Mao Zedong in 1968 had dealt with the succession problem by purging. in his period of exile.19 Bauman returned to the historical or generational aspects of the satellites in “The Second Generation of Socialism” (1972). Here the question was about the class effects of the reproduction of the new social systems over time.22 The socialist revolution of 1945 was mounted in the name of an almost nonexistent working class. the political apparatus had to come to grips with the crisis of the “second generation. it had become apparent to the aging rulers that a more peaceful approach would allow them to die in their beds. Beyond the subsistence level. These patterns were common to East European societies. in Poland and Czechoslovakia diametrically different processes ensued. this revolution produced a social class that could challenge the claims made in its own name. But no one could pretend to be outside the system. As Bauman concluded.20 The infamous institution that emerged to indicate the distinction took the form of closed shops. the value of discretional goods can be registered as signs and not only as use values. though there were also deep conflicts between “rulers” and “experts. Bauman’s question was this: What are the forms of the transmission of inherited advantage? Here we can see Bauman puzzling over the Polish version of what were to become British problems later. Bauman worried over the loss of proletarian collective memory through . Not only was there a dialectic of freedom and security. in anticipation of Solidarity a decade later. More literally. By the time of Nikita Khruschev. moreover.
at the cusp of the movement. again. Eastern ways. As a result.27 The Polish regime prided itself as Polish.25 The point of Solidarity. for to talk to the ruling party in its own language would have been to lose the battle before it started. The “Polish Road to Socialism” emphasized differences rather than similarities with the Soviet Union. and its achievement. The Polish venture sought to alter the language of social discourse. but it was laborist or corporatist in program. Enough. losing its impetus by 1953 and ending with the death of Lavrenti Beria in 1956. one of a civil society grounded in the autonomy of the public sphere. to make Bauman ponder this as a premonition. Though it is Castoriadis whom we associate both with the Socialisme ou Barbarie impulse to workers’ autonomy and the later claim to an ontology of creation. Until 1980. the other absent presence in Bauman’s margins is Jürgen Habermas. It was this conjunction. indeed. in this view. that was the great historical novelty of Solidarity. now. Solidarity and After The emergence of the Solidarity movement in 1980 took everyone by surprise. if not the maturation of socialism. there was little synchronization of the political histories of the two countries. over the Russian. The problem with Solidarity.” Here the view. speaking indeed of “the maturation of socialism. Into the 1980s a new industrial working class was formed.”26 The Polish events opened a new possibility. in retrospect. was of Polish socialism sui generis.”24 This was because—and here Bauman talked like Cornelius Castoriadis—Poland in 1980 came close to the model of historical creativity. was the logjam it confronted. Bauman wrote: “The hope to loosen the dead grip of dictatorship lies elsewhere. The Polish regime emulated Soviet Stalinism only into the 1950s. is that it did not talk to power. of the opening public sphere and the agency of the workers. for Bauman also interpreted Solidarity as part of an enlightenment process.Modernity and Communism 175 the Second World War and the rise of institutional actors or apparatciks who were happy to pretend to represent the peasants cum proletarians from the comfort and safety of their dachas. to redefine social action outside both the logic of the regime and its powers. in winning legitimacy for a nonpolitical language. Western. was more optimistic. won by the workers. Bauman returned to the Polish story in 1989 in “Poland: On Its Own. Bauman’s 1981 essay. Although . even if in retrospect this process looks like a belated trade unionization of a belated industrial proletarian arrival.
yet longer-term struggles over life chances were frustrated. in this context. The emergence of “free trade unions” offered a space for the flourishing of talents. prestige. they wanted only some relief from the tragicomic aspects of the existing one. would be all glasnost and no perestroika. To move forward would mean dismantling the “patronage state” (the phenomenon earlier described as partynomialism). would cut both ways. or could have attributed to them. none of the major actors wanted a new society. the bourgeois revolution. The Polish elite had circulatory problems. where the party was not the opposition but the power. public sphere. even if its impact would be short-circuited. offered not only an alternative. Bauman reintroduced the frame of modernity and after. totalitarian version. at least until larger world-historic forces came into play. The purge. The Polish problem was that none of the established classes demonstrated. then. like the earlier excess of security. and ambitions of all kinds. might be a life chance or a vocation.”29 The anticommunist uprisings were systemic rather than merely political revolutions. Alongside this scenario. without bourgeois democracy or a public sphere . fell out of favor with the generation of rulers who in their youth had captured power through such means. there came Bauman’s “Communism: A Postmortem. Conflicts were channeled into the distributive sphere. the original Stalinist solution. Solidarity. The only obvious alternative was to make more room at the top by multiplying positions of high status.176 Modernity and Communism various social actors and interests agreed in principle to all kinds of change. hot-headed and impatient brother. socialism in a hurry. but also the prospect of other ladders.28 It was in the logic of their action to support pluralism. the younger. but its impulse was bound to be positive. Lenin’s political impatience had led to a sociological rupture. Politics. and material rewards. The result. they were obliged to promote pluralism. Finally. Lenin had redefined socialism (or communism) as a substitute for. Communism would be modernity without the bourgeois revolution. This would mean opening up a new trade-off between state and market or security and freedom. Communism was socialism in overdrive. here. Thus Bauman revisited the Michels problem in its post-SPD. other life chances. In the first instance. skills. “transformative” interests. in the Polish case. where more freedom. the practical steps to implement reform seemed to conflict with everyone’s immediate interests. rather than a continuation of. as in all such communist countries mobility was nationalized. Even if some of the Solidarity actors were less elevated in their motives. and all ladders were internal.
The Polish communists were not utopians. One of Bauman’s intellectual or writerly habits has been to continue a discussion in the next book. There are other traces and indications: the samizdat critique of communist humanism in Legislators and Interpreters. even as the masses toiled for subminimum wages the world over. the hot-headed younger brothers of Lenin. Bauman’s conclusion here was that this was one sense in which the events from 1989 on indicated a postmodern revolution: postmodern because postpuritan. Conclusions—Full Circle I began these notes with the observation that there is no text in Bauman’s project called Modernity and Communism to match his most prominent book.”31 One could say that Americanism had won.30 Those who would urge capitalism onto Soviet-type societies after 1989 often failed to acknowledge that these economies lacked not only capital and capitalists but even workers. Their initial brief. some of which have been scanned here. was less revolution than reconstruction. The commonly encountered criticism of Modernity and the Holocaust is that in foregrounding problems of modernity. and culturally overwhelmed by a sense that capitalism ruled victorious less in a productivist than in a consumptive sense. the book fails to say enough about Germans and Jews. the de facto authorization of Dictatorship over Needs as a theory of Soviet-type societies for sociology. so his discussion of Jews in particular continues in his next installment. The Polish context is crucial. in the puritan sense. as in the Holocaust book. or perhaps the prospect of the culture of the postmodern. Modernity and the Holocaust. its internal dynamics are peculiar. after all. Communism was an image of modernity one-sidedly adapted to the task of mobilizing social and natural resources in the name of modernization. Modernity and Ambivalence. the shadow of Polish experience falls heavily. . There. self-enjoyment. after World War II. Bauman wrote: “It was the postmodern. The implication is clear: while the Polish story cannot be told outside of the Soviet story.Modernity and Communism 177 of any kind. it cannot sufficiently explain it. narcissistic culture of self-enhancement. and the essays on Poland. Although the idea of stalinism needs to be connected to the Polish experience. instant gratification and life defined in terms of consumer styles that finally exposed the obsoleteness of the ‘steel-per-head’ philosophy stubbornly preached and practiced under communism.
indeed was successful because contingent: the Jews would always still be exposed. This treachery was neither forgotten nor forgiven by the Poles. the difference was between life and death.”32 Many good Polish Jews. Bauman turned full circle on this point in his 1996 essay “Assimilation into Exile: The Jew As a Polish Writer. found out. though it would follow him. the internal struggles between German Jews and Ostjuden. as the Holocaust did—was as successful as it was contingent. German invaders and Soviet. the Poles watched the enthusiasm with which most Jews greeted the Red Army. (2002) . like the German Jews into the 1920s. opportunities to change the world.34 The Jews of Poland made excellent material for the new power: here were ladders. It was time for Zygmunt Bauman to move on. who periodically returned to antisemitic purges. there was little difference between the invaders. imagined themselves to be Poles or Germans. to leave this life behind. Not all Ostjuden were Polish Jews.178 Modernity and Communism Auschwitz was in Poland.33 Then came the war. among other things. For the Jews. To the Poles. which swallows the outsider up rather than vomiting him or her out. In Modernity and Ambivalence Bauman discussed. Yet the Polish assimilation of Jews—which Bauman elsewhere connected with Claude Lévi-Strauss’s idea of the anthropophagic culture. or so it seemed. but all Polish Jews were Ostjuden. including the turn that expelled Bauman from his chair in Warsaw in 1968 and opened a longer road to Leeds. Horrified.
and they could counterintuit an image of socialism as the negation of capitalism in Capital. With regard to Marx’s work. though there was a more sufficient textual basis for this reading in the utopia of Looking Backward. They had odd glimpses of a socialist utopia in Critique of the Gotha Program and The Civil War in France. the primary texts now available to us were then often still unpublished. Bellamy was also widely viewed as a state socialist. Marx and Friedrich Engels famously denied the utopian dimension of their own project. Marx was widely imagined to be a state socialist in the secondary literature of the period. in the third volume of Capital assembled by 179 .Thirteen Looking Back: Marx and Bellamy No two images of socialism or utopia were more influential a century ago than those of Karl Marx and Edward Bellamy. The extent of the influence of Bellamy’s Looking Backward is legendary: it was the secondbiggest-selling work of fiction in the United States in the nineteenth century. where nationalism. Marx behaved as though utopianism were the preparatory phase of modern socialism. stood for socialism and society was organized as one great trust. indeed. Bellamy’s utopia was as public as Marx’s was practically invisible. both literally and as literature. Bellamy celebrated it. at least in the formal sense. In Marx’s case. in comparison. English-language readers of the nineteenth century had more work to do. They had an image of the regime of direct producers there. Bellamy embraced the form.
”1 From the first to the fourth image. as is often the case. They could not access The German Ideology until much later. Marx’s project was culturally formed by the stream we call romanticism as much as it was by the Enlightenment. The path of its development might indeed be viewed as the transition from the romantic critique of capitalism to the enlightened conclusion that its dynamics must be embraced in order to transform them. and Capital. where the impress of romanticism remains profound. Bellamy’s utopia is connected to the later image of the machine in the garden. and the Critique of the Gotha Program. We are left with a series of hints toward five different images of utopia across the path of his life and work.180 Looking Back Engels. failed to develop a systematic utopia or image of socialism. he was not an unmixed modern. understanding is always framed by misunderstanding. These last three sources are more politically suggestive than indicative of how production or political economy might be reconstructed in the socialist society of the future. . volume 3. Bellamy’s image of utopia is more consistent across the path of his work. the change in Marx’s thinking was consistent with changes across his moment and his project. The reception of socialist ideas is always compromised. the Grundrisse. The German Ideology. Marx’s Utopias Marx played with at least five images of utopia in his work. Three other sources of hints on utopia are The Communist Manifesto. and scattered through the comments on the “Russian Road. They are to be found in the Paris Manuscripts. In this essay I sketch out some clues for revisiting images of utopia in Marx and in Bellamy. but little else to go on. contrary to William Morris’s assertion. but. Even after forty years of argument about Marx’s humanism in English. The Paris Manuscripts rest on the labor ontology so central to Marx. as it shifted the image of redemption from a romantic frame to a modernist. contrary to common understanding. My claim is that Marx. it reflects the unresolved tensions of nineteenth-century American modernity expressed through the prism of New England small-town radicalism. and this is one quality at least that he shared with Marx. industrialist way of thinking about possible future social organization. The hints in the later comments on a possible “Russian Road” violate the logic of this trend and the power of Marx’s own conviction that socialism could emerge only from industrial capitalism. The Civil War in France.
the Grundrisse fascinates because it is the most transitional and experimental of Marx’s works.2 Marx’s desire was for the freedom of creation and expression of the romantics. of the unalienated society. and activity.” in which a diversity of harmonious activities reflects the differences of the individual personality and its multiple reflections in different forms of small-group association. working on his critique of political economy. from the time of writing Paris Manuscripts of 1844 to that of writing Capital in 1867. But is this playful image not then an instance of Marx’s playing with us? Marx’s interlocutor here is not Schiller but Charles Fourier. Marx spent more than twenty years. attraction. herdsman. Here Marx played with the creative image of musical composition as labor but later toyed with the fascinating possibilities made available by the prospect of automation: “Labour time . in the alienation of its result. the utopia implied here is one of individual autonomy and small-scale. fisherman. its collective agent. This suggests a plainly rural. was a vehement critic of the fact of the division of labor. and humanity as such. There it was less the primitivism of Jean-Jacques Rousseau than the romantic critique of fragmentation of the whole in Schiller that was in the background.3 Here utopia is not a political society but a society of autonomous creation as and through labor. whether viewed in its marxian inflexion or in later encounters via Georg Simmel and Sigmund Freud. is available to us in the Grundrisse. It remains a central problem. It is the now famous scenario of huntsman. utopia. critic. Its midpoint. The early Marx. If capitalism’s redundance has to do with its merciless and structural denial of the autonomy of labor in the act of production. Marx’s critique of alienated labor necessarily indicates a counterimage. It indicates a green and pleasant land. following Friedrich Schiller.4 Marx’s more earnest sensibility appeared later in The German Ideology. The second image appears in The German Ideology. like that imagined by William Morris in News from Nowhere. and his laboratory. If the Paris Manuscripts are the most evocative and Capital the most brilliant architectonic text in Marx’s project.Looking Back 181 the premise is unavoidable. where he agreed rather with the Renaissance position that socialism should not be a society in which each individual was Raphael but that all with potential should be able to grow into actuality. and in fact horticultural. Marx’s utopia in The German Ideology is a paraphrase of or a pun on Fourier’s schedule for “Mondor’s Day. Marx’s early work is based on the critique of alienation. localized production and collective management. and the motif persisted right through to Capital.
later answered positively by the Russian social democrats. though never for Marx in leisure. Its very possibility depends on the shortening of the working day. technology. Labor’s magic was transferred conceptually into technology itself.”5 Plainly Marx was speculating. Production. The prospect of freedom. This is the true realm of freedom. there begins the development of human energy that is an end in itself. the craft utopia implicit in the Paris Manuscripts is nowhere in sight. who rationally regulate their interchange with nature. rather seems to be the prerequisite of free time and capacity elsewhere. Here the very labor ontology on which his early work had been based was placed in question. The presence of Raphael remained. and this was also history’s answer in 1991. anticipating a process well beyond that of Henry Ford and Fordism. He left that fantasy to Paul Lafargue. rather than labor. Beyond that.” The worker now “steps to the side of the production process instead of being its chief actor. the human being comes to relate more as a watchman and regulator to the production process itself. But Marx’s actual answer was politically creative and tentative rather than necessitarian. in The Right to Be Lazy. Freedom is defined as the work of the associated producers. Perhaps. here. he said. This drift seems to be confirmed in one passage in Capital. including Vladimir Lenin. but here it escaped from the realm of production. available to us in his correspondence with Vera Zasulich. or at least of free time. Did the Russian marxists have to await the full maturation of capitalism before they could seriously argue for the introduction of socialism? Marx’s answer should logically have been yes. shifted beyond the sphere of labor or production to the realm beyond it. became the transcendent force implicit within capital.6 Marx’s fifth glimpse of utopia is a lateral one. back to the reveries of The German Ideology? I do not think so. such as the communal form of the mir. Was this a lapse in Marx’s past. where the famous discussion of freedom and necessity shifts freedom more clearly beyond labor. Here Marx’s Russian followers asked the obvious question. Here imagination seems to be separated from work. volume 3. The realm of work is now conceived as the realm of necessity. yet the implications are not only futuristic. bringing it under their common control rather than being ruled by it. The ontology of creation persisted across his work. rather.182 Looking Back no longer appears so much to be included within the production process. though the implication that socialism could or should be rural rather than urban . the Russians could follow earlier historic precedents.
as another state socialist. Marx did.8 Bellamy’s Utopia Edward Bellamy. At the end of the Manifesto we find a list of minimal demands. . after all. source. The Russian Road is more like a special dispensation than a strong utopia. The first source is the least striking.9 Bellamy. too. in a craft utopia. looms large otherwise. and arguably Bellamy’s utopia does not fit this grid either. Trotsky’s own utopia. dictatorship would become permanent rather than transitional. Following Henri de Saint-Simon. has often been thought of as an American Bolshevik. and therefore mistakenly imagined that socialism would be after politics. meantime. This Marx never was. Trier. and in turn shaped the hiatus of political utopia in his writing.7 Under the Bolsheviks. more political. for his part. This was the source of the later notorious communist apologia for the hard distinction between a first transitional phase and a second fuller phase of socialist development. at least not in its authoritarian guise.Looking Back 183 has its echoes. whether enthusiastically or critically. Marx. shows the same hesitance to develop a theory of politics. but the status of this hint is more like that in the Russian Road. The Civil War in France. indicating a strategic accommodation rather than revealing the presence of a robust utopia. administrative utopia. the first of which could be used to justify anything in terms of proletarian dictatorship. was born in a time and place where socialism might still be imagined as before industrialism. The second. Marx and Engels here envisaged socialism in terms of the postpolitical. of course. The larger contours of Marx’s utopianism are evident. in The Communist Manifesto. was Faustian rather than romantic or merely enlightened. has been received. make the fatal mistake of identifying politics (and often the state) with class. Trotsky claimed at the height of his own revolutionary career that this was his own aim: Bolshevism shod with American nails. itself best glimpsed in Literature and Revolution. such as anticipated not Lenin but Eduard Bernstein. The Paris Commune became a momentary model for self-managed. or else as a return to that lost past on the Rhine in the years of his boyhood. local socialism. The third hint comes in Critique of the Gotha Program. Even the subtle intellect of Leon Trotsky could not escape this logic but rather transferred it into the economic base in The Revolution Betrayed. Its Roman and French connections form shadows that remained influential over Marx’s political thinking. The significance of his birthplace.
By the 1880s. that the trouble of politics should be replaced by the smooth whir of administration. they are distributive utopias where production somehow seems absent in the face of this egalitarian consumer cornucopia. however. The economy works as one large trust. North Carolina. this is a consumptive. like Melbourne or Manchester. middle class. Bellamy’s desire was for social peace. But Bellamy’s utopia in Looking Backward remains a kind of state capitalism in which the military image of labor seems to reflect an ethic of service and the legacy of civil war rather than a desire for a militarized society. abundance. and it differs from Bellamy’s original purpose. Occasionally critical argument extends further. though the suggestive supplementary texts actually came earlier. it is neither barracks socialism nor war communism. designed like Central Park by Frederick Olmsted. its public life again is reminiscent of the preference indicated by SaintSimon. such as Dr. which nevertheless seems rather prim and puritan to late modern eyes. The utopia that influenced the world. and harmony. The standard features of Bellamy’s utopias are widely recognized—an industrial army that releases its conscripts after age 45 into an age of leisure. to take in its sequel. Unlike Marx’s early dreams. flat and gray.184 Looking Back The preeminent source for Bellamy’s vision of the future is of course Looking Backward. Ironically. the influence of Looking Backward spread most profoundly westward. a European American city with a garden edge. a political regime elected by specialists rather than citizens. in Boston. Bellamy’s ethic might be one of civil militarism. but it is antimilitaristic. that he could remember his hometown before industrialization. Its actual location. then. This is what gave William Morris a rash and prompted the rural counteridyll of . Equality. a technological fascination with gadgets and communal labor-saving devices. Its private atmosphere is genteel. Strife and waste are but thin memories of the past. reflecting the early enthusiasm for trustification. across the Midwest and to California. a small town near Springfield. belies Bellamy’s own small-town roots in Chicopee Falls. was finally located by Bellamy in Boston. middle-class utopia of youthful work followed by mature rest. Heidenhoff’s Process. Bellamy’s utopia is usually thought to be. Whatever it is. which was to locate the story and its future in the rural retreat of Asheville. Massachusetts.10 Bellamy’s personal experience had this much in common with Marx. not least Bellamy’s earlier fiction. The absence of democratic procedures was corrected in Equality. and closely familial.
Fenélon argued for a republican monarchy in which simplicity. magical pantheism of sublime emotions. in Telemachus. The similarity with Durkheim . It is François de Fenélon. and simplicity. this will not save Bellamy from Rousseau’s predicament. modesty. Telemachus. even with the military ethic of sacrifice added in. the solution to problems of anomie generated by modernization. the human soul seeks a more perfect realization of its solidarity with the universe. as in Durkheim.11 Just as Fourier stands in the shadows of Marx’s utopia in The German Ideology. Durkheim’s was a kind of guild socialism. nor exactly anomie. labor was the source of social altruism. not compulsion but service. His is a Spartan utopia less of selfrenunciation than of projection into the social other. For Bellamy. so is there a French utopian presence in the background of Bellamy’s text. What is less apparent in the general reception of Looking Backward is its basis in a kind of solidarism that might at first sight be associated with Émile Durkheim. whereas in Marx it remained connected to the energy of creativity. labor was the precondition of freedom. a text that resonates rather with the horticultural creativity of The German Ideology. the root problem was neither alienation. but the two images are connected. first in his Socialism and Saint Simon and then in The Division of Labour in Society. Bellamy believed that we are at the same time merely individual and universal. Bellamy’s was a passionate. and elsewhere Thomas Carlyle. travels the Mediterranean world in order to learn patience. if not its frenzy. Ralph Waldo Emerson. that we must be forced to be free. and it has these Spartan connections with Telemachus. this is the motivating force for the invention of the industrial army in Looking Backward. For Bellamy. the young son of Ulysses.13 The strongest manifestation of this minimal egoism and maximal solidarism can be found in Bellamy’s earlier fragment.14 Solidarity involves self-sacrifice. As he put it. The utopia of Looking Backward is not identical with this utopia. the virtues of agriculture. then. “The Religion of Solidarity. but freedom here means rest. However. itself modernized because industrialized. as for the later Marx. labor.Looking Back 185 News from Nowhere. courage. but it is also both rural and romantic in its inflection. and the absence of luxury prevailed.” Its guiding impulse is not the dull utilitarianism detected by Morris and others but rather a cosmological sense of the sublime. gesturing toward New England transcendentalism.12 Bellamy’s is a modernizing utopia. In Fenélon’s retelling. For Durkheim. as in Marx.
Bellamy moves closer to the libertarianism of Herbert Marcuse.” Dr. and guns. My own sense. The logical result of this is less the hope of socialism in one factory than a conceptual reliance . Thomas in Alternative America. and the result of industrial cooperation in the later work. Dr. contrary spirits rather than liberarians. where utopia is activity rather than leisure. rather. Alongside “The Religion of Solidarity. in that Bellamy viewed individualism as the result of industrialization rather than as its primordial condition. the historian of surrealism. was a project.16 A more measured approach. remains the image of the single factory. for Bellamy as for Durkheim. whereas for Marx it was both an ontology. cotton.18 Looking Back Marx would remember the Rhine before industrialization. The plot thus resembles the narrative of Looking Backward. Marx’s enthusiasm for the revolutionary dynamic of capitalist expansion was never quite transferred into the giganticism of Fordism or the Bolsheviks. Perhaps a link between those utopian dimensions is in the work of Fourier. Its plot concerns the use of period galvanic therapy to cure the guiltridden individual subject of the story. a challenge. Here remembered sin is the most utterly diabolical influence in the universe. The conceptual basis of Capital. Heidenhoff’s Process may be the most interesting supplementary text with which to locate Bellamy. as the natural collectivism of species-being in the early work. to recast Bellamy as libertarian rather than authoritarian. C. portrays Bellamy rather in the company of other Americanist radicals such as Henry George and Henry Demarest Lloyd. Solidarity. is that Bellamy can usefully be aligned with the thinkers proper to a field such as that surveyed by Leo Marx in The Machine and the Garden. Did Marx and Bellamy alike dream of the future as an industrial sublime? I do not think so. perhaps this was overdetermined by the nature of Engels’s singular experience with textiles in Manchester.186 Looking Back remained. such as Franklin Rosemont.17 In Rosemont’s libertarian reading. Heidenhoff’s purpose is to extirpate it. Marx does not sketch out the fuller details of political economy at either a national or a global level. exemplified by J. just as Bellamy could imagine Chicopee Falls before its water power turned it from an image of the natural sublime toward an image of industrial power. written eight years earlier.15 The presence of this text has prompted some. but it is also sexualized and playful. for it rests on a story of private and personal recovery and redemption. in fact.
Both Marx and Bellamy were evidently antipolitical in their utopianism. lost his followers into progressivism or into the movements that generated distinct practical aspects of utopia. not least with the decline and collapse of the Soviet empire. He was thrust into politics and was morally unable to refuse the sense of obligation. now arguing rather that truth could be best located in the critique of political economy. But Marx’s occlusion of politics. Marx remained romantic more than modernist. then discovered that he was obliged to stay there. The stronger distinction between Marx and Bellamy concerns not the political but the literary. Bellamy began with what Leo Marx . Marx’s distance from utopia and its politics was distinct in formation. such as the Tennessee Valley Authority. such was the nature of the times. Marx’s fatal mistake. There are no intermediary associations or groups in Bellamy’s writings. or the mediating institutions. The gaps in Bellamy’s conceptualization are structurally similar. it is the middle. whose greatest success in Looking Backward was an accident. and there is no literary outlet for his dreamings. with the industrial rather than the craft regime of the associated producers therein. It does not make sense to blame Marx for Bolshevism unless we embrace both idealism and anachronism in thinking. In this. Bellamy backed into politics. to be remedied in Equality. Sociologically. To put this more bluntly. no civil society or particularity as in Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. was willfully to turn away from the sphere of civil society. it is this absence of conceptual mediation that explains the absence of organizational forms that could accommodate difference and help to articulate the political. self-explained in the 1859 preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. which ends in Capital. was in this sense a return to the other side of Marx. The absences of democratic procedures in Looking Backward. indicate Bellamy’s failure to connect the universal and individual via the particular. however widely shared in its predemocratic phase in world history. as there are in those of Durkheim.Looking Back 187 on the singular unit of the factory and its socialist counterimage. that are left out. The Bellamy reception often screens out the fact that Bellamy was indeed a writer. volume 3. nevertheless shadowed the subsequent history of marxism. in comparison. Bellamy. The revival of the category civil society. modernist indication that it was rather scale and complexity that should be established as defining characteristics of modernity. primarily a journalist and novelist. Marx’s brilliant elucidation of the centrality of the concepts labor and capital preceded the later.
Both Marx and Bellamy might be said.20 In all this. wealth.188 Looking Back calls a pastoral middle landscape in which art and nature blurred until technology and immigrant labor displaced the Virgilian or. it emerges that there are two moot issues and points of comparison for Marx and Bellamy: not only the nature but also the location of their utopias.19 The attendant images might be those of Marx or at least Engels viewing Manchester. (2004) . however different the two places and life experiences may have been. toss and turn between those streams that we call romanticism and enlightenment. and power. in a different sense. Thus Bellamy might be viewed as another transitional writer of American modernity. By such means could the United States continue to define its purpose as the pursuit of rural happiness while devoting its life energies to productivity. or they might be those of Charles Dickens. as we. to have longed for the small town. in this sense. even as they also praised and set to work in their own thinking those forces that would accelerate scale and complexity. Theirs were both imaginary futures made of images of the past. sufficiently to identify this deep tension. If we have failed. this may be because we continue to extend it. as scholars of utopia. where the pastoral ideal remains of service long after the machine’s appearance in the landscape. Jeffersonian dream of rural peace. too.
Karl Kautsky: what was good for capitalism would be good for socialism. as exemplified by its leading German theorist. working-class culture was petty bourgeois. Fifth. T. Fourth.1 In short. there were greater opportunities for upward social mobility in America. for the longer answer of course was multivariate. American workers had a favorable attitude toward capitalism. less well known is the answer. First. “The United States of America is capitalism’s land of promise.Fourteen Socialism and America Why is there no socialism in the United States? Werner Sombart’s question is famous. the dominant two-party system sidelined socialist alternatives. in the period language of the left. made a list. “All conditions 189 . Second. There were many reasons. and finally. the frontier reduced proletarian militancy. Husbands. Sixth. the famous if clichéd answer had to do with the American working class’s selling out socialism for reefs of roast beef and mountains of apple pie. First published in the Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik in 1905. Sombart’s elongated answer was both more sophisticated and more interesting than this. C. this favorable attitude extended to the American system of government. the working class had indeed been bought off by material rewards.” wrote Sombart. Sombart’s own argument resembles that of classical social democracy. who edited the English version of the book that followed the essay. Third. indicated by the high degree of civic integration.
The American worker is too optimistic and patriotic. Sombart insisted. there were two social democratic parties in 1905. America proves Das Kapital. is that the American working class does not embrace socialism (16). On the one hand. without any following? (15). it looks like a case sui genesis. What surprises the reader of Sombart’s book is the insistence. nevertheless. and the ideal of constant self-advancement. What cannot be denied. it was absolutely not true that there were no socialists in the United States. at least in political or prophetic terms. Max Weber’s essay on the Protestant ethic had first appeared in the same journal in which Sombart was publishing his essay and for which they shared editorial responsibility. Yet the underlying sympathy in Sombart’s essays is marxian. nowhere on earth have the economic system and the essence of capitalism reached as full a development as in North America” (4). this also meant that America was ripe for revolution (6). Inasmuch as American capitalism best approximated the concentration of capital described in Das Kapital. The marxian echoes here combine with Weberian sympathies. Capitalism and America were a match made in heaven. then. America already looked like the exceptional country. but there is no socialism in America. on the other hand. If it is the most developed.”2 Here Sombart showed the kind of enthusiasm for American development that Marx had anticipated in The Communist Manifesto. representing the highest stage of capitalism. America is obsessed with quantity and bigness. is this fact not sufficient to refute marxism? But no.190 Socialism and America needed for its complete and pure development were first fulfilled here. restlessness. he may have some commitment to . Sombart’s judgment was acute: “This competitive psychology produces a deep-seated need for freedom of movement” (13). that which would know no bounds. Sombart shared that period enthusiasm for the New World. There may be socialists. are the American socialists? Are there more than a few broken-down Germans in America. After all. neither exclusively German. insisted that the process of capitalist hyperdevelopment in America was culturally driven: “In fact. including its unscheduled revolutionary outcome in chapter 32 of that book. it should logically also contain the most actively revolutionary proletariat. And if there are no socialists in America. locally or globally (4). There is no significant support for marxism in the United States. America is counterintuitive for classical socialists. Where. however. the ideal type made real. So Sombart. that this restless capitalism remains the prelude to socialism. Moreover. all finished with Europe. too.
Socialism and America 191 unionism or laborism. this is the stomach rather than the heart of the matter. The latter. American populism. begins from the question Why is there no socialism in America? But his response is in terms . In the United States. J. or answer. Perhaps. What explains the difference? Americanism. workers and bosses can more readily be viewed as partners in the great enterprise. its issue was awry. there is freedom of movement: the working class can go west (116). positive citizenship rather than exclusion and resistance. class knows less distance than in Europe. The heart of the matter. after all. Sombart closed with Henry George. with the result that in the next generation Socialism in America will very probably experience the greatest expansion of its appeal” (119. is finite. The legacy of Sombart’s question. The more powerful implication is that the purchase of socialism will continue to be marginalized by the power of Americanism. and superior income levels. though the spirit of his argument is that associated with F. represents an unreconciled tension between what we might now identify as its marxian and weberian currents. completely by surprise: “My present opinion is as follows: all the factors that till now have prevented the development of Socialism in the United States are about to disappear or to be converted into their opposite. is clearly more complicated than “reefs of roast beef” suggests. Unless this was a premonition of the Great Depression. Now arrives the list of variables assembled by Husbands—a dominant two-party system. “Abstinence fanatics who are favourable to capitalism will be ready to discover close connections between the [German] poison of alcohol and the poison of socialism” (105). tongue in cheek. regarding the way American workers consume. brings us to the heart of Sombart’s analysis. then. Bell. so to speak. the west. Then he exited in the spirit of Marx’s apocalyptic scenario in Das Kapital. like Daniel Bell.” and the material conditions of its possibility (23). Bell’s essay. remains one of the most important works in the field. written in 1949–50 and published in 1952 as Marxian Socialism in the United States. but he also has a fundamentally capitalist disposition. marginalization of third parties. The logic of Sombart’s work. were also to focus on culture and on the politics of culture in seeking to explain the situation. more likely. As Sombart concluded. is to be found in the social position of the American worker. though Germans drink more (102). as was Marx’s in Das Kapital. And if not. emphasis in the original). like Sombart. American workers do indeed eat better than their German counterparts. Others. Geographical and social mobility always appear to be possible. Turner. a specifically “American spirit.
As Bell concluded in his afterword. The socialist impulse was rechanneled via progressivism and the New Deal until its romantic lineage was revived in the 1960s. accommodating the world. not only American exceptionalism. rather. the SPA cut itself off from the labor movement and the people (116). Socialism was simply too romantic to connect sufficiently to a culture more worldly. In the American case. The Socialist Party peaked in 1912. in the American world but not of it. The American labor movement. As Weber had it. spent too much time talking to each other. were nationalists or populists. but at the high point its vote stood at about 6 percent. the weberian motif plainly overcame the marxian desire for the new world in the new world. from New York and Chicago to Milwaukee and beyond. and it was obvious from outside the marxian tradition. even more emphatically. in this view. In the United States. was neither in nor of the world but encapsulated in a world of its own. learned to live in and of the world but became American at the expense of socialism. Socialists. when it did. those roots overdetermined the outcome. European socialism had resulted from proletarian exclusion. Like Daniel Bell. in this account. class bipolarization and all. The most systematic . The Communist Party. Bolshevism. Sombart had the right answer but had asked the wrong question (195). the real question was rather “Why Should There Be Socialism in the United States?” (197). socialists were too much obsessed with absolute ends. in contrast. though this again was too far away from the mainstream politically to effect it. The path of American economic and social development simply belied the marxian theorems. The most influential American socialists. As Bell put it. Samuel Gompers and the American Federation of Labor (AFL) inside. Yet the fault in the question remained. In Bell’s view. There was and always had been elements of socialism in America. in contrast.192 Socialism and America of the political culture of the left. Daniel De Leon and then the Industrial Workers of the World stood outside. with one congressman (90). like Edward Bellamy. Socialism in America failed to put down strong roots. or. is Why did the organized socialist movement fail to adapt to American conditions?3 Bell’s answer is clear: the Socialist Party of America (SPA) was too marxist. insufficiently anchored in an ethic of responsibility. lived too long with dreams of redemption to make sense to their own imaginary audience. By opposing World War I. Seymour Martin Lipset gave a good part of his work to the analysis of socialism in North America. is neither in the world nor of it but stands outside (13). classes were permeable and cultures regional. Bell’s question.
and failed. It failed because of American exceptionalism. The most central argument here is simply that America was different from Europe. the rejection of a labor party. laissez-faire. The American ideology is sustained by five images: antistatism. the “foreign nature of the party.” they wrote. Yet the overarching explanatory claim made by Lipset and Marks is cultural and sociological. other new world experiences like those of Australia and New Zealand work within different constraints. The analysis in It Didn’t Happen Here fans out other causal factors and explanations—the dominant two-party system.4 Lipset and Marks. “that the American social system is a starting point for explaining the failures of socialism” (265). Lipset and Marks follow Richard Hofstadter’s line of thought that America’s fate was not to have an ideology but to be one (29). however. with the exception of experiences like that in Milwaukee. is that this was not for want of trying. Also working against the prospect of an American socialism were the relative weakness of socialist subculture. It Didn’t Happen Here: Why Socialism Failed in the United States (2000). The dice are loaded against socialism in America. too. . and equalitarianism (30). following Daniel Bell. In retrospect it seems clear that. Hundreds of thousands of socialists dedicated their lives to these struggles. as in other English-speaking societies. “Our comparative studies lead us to the conclusion. the presidential system. In summary. the significance of Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal. they were unable to create an independent labor party in alliance with mainstream unions. understood analytically as its technology. populism. and so on and so forth (chap. with all these factors and more militating against socialism and socialists. depart from the Sombart question Why is there no socialism in the United States? Their response is apparent: socialism was not absent but a failure. the distinctive business character of American unionism. federalism. itself exceptional. ethnic diversity and racism. the cause was bound to fail in America. and they were unable to capture one of the major parties (263). the split between unions and the Socialist Party. the political sectarianism followed by socialists. Taylorism. individualism. Antonio Gramsci understood this. preferring Americanism viewed as a whole way of life to. relative material affluence compared to Europe. political repression. they failed for three reasons: they were unable to sustain a strong and durable socialist party. say. This is to say.” first too German and then too Russian.Socialism and America 193 explanation came in the book he coauthored with Gary Marks. What Lipset and Marks make clear. 1). that they failed for strategic and specifically political as well as cultural reasons.
power. and their results are exclusivist and dogmatic rather than mainstream or pragmatic. as Lipset and Marks conclude. ecology.194 Socialism and America follow differing. full employment à la Keynes. citizenship à la Marshall. social democratic. As Zygmunt Bauman concluded. what America now plainly lacks is not socialism but anything like a Green Party. less exceptional. American foundational influences are German and often marxian rather than Anglo or Fabian. that social . in this regard. whose frame of reference was conventionally the old world rather than the new. The postwar boom is conspicuously over. and so on. Perhaps the most signal remaining theme from the socialist tradition. Not that this was absolute: Marx knew that the new world was a wild card. 1). the idea of exceptionalism remains problematical. and innovate in ways that American socialists generally evade. less closely connected to unions. the only Western democracy without a labor. and waste. Distinctive elements of American culture—antistatism and individualism—negated the appeal of socialism for the mass of American workers for much of the twentieth century. that “old” world that also wants to be a new and different world. Industrial relations and radical politics never quite met as they did in Europe. at least in the Clintonian sense. persists (chap. the American model is now becoming more universal. cooperative or small holding beginnings. Size. The combined forces of neoliberalism and globalization have meant that labor parties like those in Australia and New Zealand have become more “American. Australia and New Zealand were naturally statist. sustainability. But then. global hegemony—certainly in these senses America is exceptional. Americanism begat the American Dream. alongside the grating inequality that seems to have no effect on those untouched by it. remains the problem of nature.5 In this way the idea of exceptionalism still reflects the incomplete intellectual struggle between the newly established American social sciences of the early twentieth century and the European fathers of sociology. or socialist party (270).” antistatist and individualized. formatively British traditions. Yet for all this. the writers of the classics. generally less distinct from non–labor parties. social democracy. But then all experiences in policy and culture are. having been founded via the British state or through the impulse to new. connected as it is to American global domination and to the inevitable contrast of Europe. and with it all its attendant forms—postwar statism. in consequence. nuclear families. Pleasantville. open in principle to all. New Labor looks more and more American. America became. Exceptionalism.
Socialism and America 195 experiment there would be different in Australia. by Chicago. which reintroduced status and model differentiation against the dull uniformity of the model T (135). According to de Grazia. it was not only Stalin and Ford but also Hitler and Ford who were connected (125). Yet America is not Europe. in California. In this way. the hegemony of Fordism gave way to that of Sloanism. but Hitler’s was plainly a regime of command consumption. a century after Sombart. For if political cultures like those in Australia are traditionally British. especially if we focus on California. Americanism was at work in Europe from the beginning of the twentieth century. The significance of Sombart in this larger story was not that the workers had been bought off by buckets of roast beef and pie but that consumption in America was not mediated by status in the way it was in Europe. Culture was more open in the United States. Durkheim’s case for sociology was plainly French but also profoundly taken by the need for modernization. Porsche visited Detroit. patterns of suburban life and culture are Californian. or in the sense in which the United States would carry forward the Faustian mission of modernism so powerfully anticipated in The Communist Manifesto. She tells this as the story of the rise of a great imperium with the outlook of a great emporium (3). then. from the perspective of this essay. the significant question was less “Why no socialism in America?” than “Why is there socialism in Europe?” (117). like a man with his skin peeled off. or Philadelphia. and so on. which made it less than unalloyed.6 De Grazia’s achievement. Victoria de Grazia also tacks off Sombart’s question in her major recent book Irresistable Empire: America’s Advance through Twentieth Century Europe. the fifth largest economy in the world and a rather different place than Boston. were established in Dresden into the 1920s. is to explain Fordism and its commercial and advertising regime as co-constituted by transatlantic traffic. What does it mean. universal in reach if not always in application. These influences were indeed global. The Marshall Plan had begun fifty years earlier as a marketing plan. The Rotary Clubs. As Hendrik de Man later put it in his book on Americanism. New York. even as economic inequality was more marked than in Europe (100). Mass marketing fit the mass society. to say that America is exceptional? Plainly Sombart imagined America as a case deviating . the General Motors version. for example. having first met there in 1905 (27). America might still be leading rather than exceptional. In the United States. Weber was deeply impressed by American drive.
comes from the historical sociologist Michael Mann (out of California. not collective. not class. as we have seen. Waves of immigrants added ethnic. The frontier thesis. Mobility opportunities encouraged individuals to seek personal. Sectionalism 6. 5. Slavery divided the early working class. American workers have been individually materialistic. . Without a state religion. to socialism. argues that the struggle to extend the American frontier in a harsh environment against warlike foes resulted in a rugged individualism hostile to collectivism. Most colonial settlement was by small farm proprietors who remained central to the Revolution and to the Jeffersonian and Jacksonian movements. more sober than that of Sombart. 4. linguistic. yet with strong Protestant sects. as in Marx’s scenario in the closing of Das Kapital—America would lead. encouraging racial and spatial. originally proposed by Turner in 1893. After exceptionalism. . As the frontier acquired mythic cultural resonance. . Mann’s catalog is exhaustive and demands attention. It is as follows. Segregation survived in the South until after World War II. A different view. Catholic immigration in the late nineteenth century impeded socialism because the church was then engaged in a crusade against socialism. Immigration. He counts thirteen answers to Sombart’s question: Individualism 1. . he nevertheless persisted in expecting a reversal. The nuance of his historical sociology is to place special emphasis on political violence and the role of the state rather than exceptionalism as such. there would come conformity.196 Socialism and America from the European norm. 3. especially during the mass black migration to the North in the early twentieth century. advancement. and united class action of blacks and whites remained difficult everywhere. later America. Moral Protestantism encouraged individualism. though. Capitalist prosperity diffused among Americans. but this time to socialism. 7. The ideology of small property ownership dominated from the beginning. They have been reluctant to tamper with private property relations. struggle. of all places). it influenced all of the United States. after all. Older immigrant groups became occupationally entrenched. Kraditor (1981) . Mann developed an even more exhaustive list of reasons as to why there has been so little socialism historically in America. . . America encouraged individuals to solve social problems from within their own moral resources. 2. Early America was unsympathetic to “feudalism”. reinforcing skilled sectionalism with ethnic stratification. Racism. Dominance by small property ownership. and religious divisions. more nuanced in its analysis.
Workers in different industries have been spatially segregated from each other and industry has kept moving into nonunionized regions. the outcome would have differed. two cross-class parties were institutionalized. . Emerging third parties. 12. By the time labor emerged. 9. the Congress of Industrial Organizations. . Continental diversity. Had they fought capitalism more and one another less. not a working-class community. two houses of Congress. syndicalists. 13. The size and diversity of America ensured that industrialization differed among regions. It had. Their goal was to create self-sufficient ethnocultural enclaves. could not advance steadily by first obtaining minority representation in national politics. including labor parties. A more cynical view of American democracy emphasizes the extraordinary level of repression. . Workers had to divide their attention among government agencies. As labor was not at first strong enough to elect the president or senators. 8. Federalism.Socialism and America 197 claims that immigrants were more attached to their ethnicity than their class. on just one national constituency. The two-party system. . This reduced party discipline and made them less responsive to broader class programs. and the Communist party. Sectarianism. . and this weakened national class politicization and unity. The U. Constitution divides powers between a relatively weak federal government (with a small nonindustrial capital city) and stronger state governments. He . judicial and military. American labor was internally divided by factional fighting among groups like the Knights of Labor. Workers migrated more. rival socialist parties. . ensuring that hereditary working-class communities did not emerge. Workers’ communities did not reinforce the collective laborer—they undermined him. and a separate judiciary. and among three branches of government—the presidency. however.” This is an upbeat. Early male democracy. approving view of American democracy: Workers could remedy grievances through liberal democracy without recourse to alternative ideologies like socialism. American democracy 10. National class solidarity never really appeared. presidential elections. the “free gift of the ballot. The parties.S. the American Federation of Labor. were weaker in the federal system than in more centralized polities. . Repression. . . 11. Congressional elections were based on large constituencies. in Perlman’s (1928: 167) famous words. which became extreme rather than being so from the country’s birth. it worked within bourgeois parties that could win elections instead of forming a labor party that could not.7 Mann concluded that the United States represents an extreme case. The United States achieved adult white male democracy by the 1840s—before the working class emerged. mobilized against American working-class movements.
though often the most this means is that socialism persists as a counterculture. one with genocide. historically. capitalist liberalism. fascism was less the potential in all of capitalism than the most extreme manifestation of state-organized nationalism. appropriately for the close of this book. experience different. in retrospect. ironically in light of Marx’s dreams. replacing class conflict with claims to ethnic unity.S. as Mann concluded in the spirit of Karl Polanyi’s Great Transformation. This was a politically led process. of communism and fascism. The twentieth century may. Most notably. John Kautsky (related to Karl. There are other explanations for the marginalization of socialism. statism. and other contributors to the argument. one to deal with fascism.198 Socialism and America argued that there were four distinct American political crystallizations— domestic militarism.8 The workers’ response to these peculiarities was sectionalism rather than exceptionalism: the United States became extreme. Mann took two significant sidesteps. Mann’s view of fascism is that it was merely the most extreme form of nation-statism. especially viewed at a distance. and Federalism—that made the U. cleansing (which . but it was also what Eric Hobsbawm called The Age of Extremes. transcendence of the present. After generating two massive volumes of civilizational sociology in The Sources of Social Power.9 The broader question. In Mann’s definition—shorter than his answer to the question of why is there no socialism in America—there were five key factors: nationalism. of course) famously argued that socialism was. have been the American Century. invariably draw out socialism? The short answer is yes. it was the century of totalitarianism. Perhaps this is the most we can hope for as we enter the new century. then. as much to be explained by feudal heritage as by capitalist disruption of the eighteenth-century calm. Does capitalism. party democracy. The debate about totalitarianism remains unresolved because it is unresolvable.10 Contrary to the old marxist axiom. yet the results were appallingly similar. is less “Why no socialism in America?” than “Why so little socialism at all today?” And “Why has socialism become so marginal?” Michael Mann’s broader work offers one way to approach the global impasse. then. The differences between the German and Soviet experience remain significant. The more acute periods of socialist development correspond to the more formative struggles against the establishment and the consolidation of capitalism in its more openly violent historical forms.
the irony is not that there was no socialism in America but that the . stood alongside religion and socialist sectarianism as major issues preventing the establishment of an American Labor Party (240–41). The strength of European socialist influences seems to have been a weakness rather than a strength. rather. Indeed. covering both larger and smaller issues. The path of his argument is fascinating. 1). But is ethnic cleansing really the dark side of democracy? In terms of the concepts used across the essays in the present book. though its component parts are still raised and persistent in different ways. roast beef. for example. and away from the conventional stories about exceptionalism. is dangerous when open to manipulation by ethnos rather than demos. whereas dominant ethnonationalism leads to ethnic cleansing. whereas Gompers and the AFL turned away.11 This specific combination was what served to make fascism historically specific and nonrepeatable. resulting partly from repression. and apple pie (chap. for it is the Australian Labor Party. the essential claim here is that class conflict and democracy go together.13 Archer’s question is significantly different from Sombart’s or Mann’s: not Why is there no socialism? but Why is there no labor party? And his point of comparison bears directly on the essays gathered here. noting. that the Australians had even more roast beef than the Americans (chap. like the dark side of modernity. in this view.Socialism and America 199 anticipates ethnic cleansing). 1).” America and Australia. as Bell had argued earlier.12 Across a characteristically broad and comprehensive comparative canvas. Archer’s argument begins with the fact of political contingency. take Archer’s analysis to a different place than the Sombart comparison of Europe and America. it might look. and paramilitarism. On the larger issues. Democracy. Finally. Both the American and the Australian labor movements were subject to repression in the 1890s. the Australians turned to politics. Archer concludes that the weakness of the new unionism in the United States. At the end of the long twentieth century and the beginning of a new one. These two “most similar cases. Robin Archer’s important study Why Is There No Labor Party in the United States? arrives in the center of the present field of analysis. this is one suggestive shorthand definition of totalitarianism itself—that it was the dark side of modernity in the twentieth century. Mann pursued the logic of his own case into the book called The Dark Side of Democracy: Explaining Ethnic Cleansing.
It is not that socialists and radicals have ceased to exist or that the problems that motivate them have disappeared. Socialism remains a necessary utopia. and to begin. (2009) . Socialists should never presume that their projected desire is built into history as necessity. rather. The point. is that the question was always wrong. as Daniel Bell argued in 1952.200 Socialism and America very proposition itself seems counterintuitive. That is a good enough place to end.
Martin Jay. 2. Trotsky. 1994). Arnason. Thesis Eleven 5. 1971). and Edward Dimmendberg. 6 (1982). “Perspectives and Problems of Critical Marxism in Eastern Europe. 201 . “Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat. The Future That Failed: Origins and Destinies of the Soviet Model (London: Routledge. The Weimar Republic Sourcebook (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. 1993). 6. Making the Modern: Industry. Terry Smith. 1984). Modernity. Johann P. 1994). The Future That Failed. Trotskyism. 3. Peter Beilharz. 12. Visions of Modernity: American Business and the Modernization of Germany (New York: Oxford University Press. James W. “Class. no. and George Markus. eds.” in History and Class Consciousness (London: Merlin. Zygmunt Bauman. 1993). 1971). Peter Beilharz. Antonio Gramsci. 8. 1983). Agnes Heller. Johann P. Civilizations in Dispute (Leiden: Brill. Dictatorship over Needs (Oxford: Blackwell. Part Two. Reconstructing America: The Symbol of America in Modern Thought (New Haven. 118.Notes Introduction 1. Europe (Oxford: Polity. 1997). Arnason. and the Transition to Socialism (London: Croom Helm. Democracy. 2003). Ceaser. Ferenc Fehér and Agnes Heller. 7. 1994). Selections from the Prison Notebooks (New York: International. Anton Kaes. City and State (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. Ferenc Fehér. Arnason. 4. 2004).” Theory and Society 12 (1983). Arnason. Art and Design in America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press.” Part One. Thesis Eleven 4 (1982). 11.: Yale University Press. Johann P. 9. On Germany see Mary Nolan. Conn. 5. Postmodern Socialism: Romanticism.. 10. Georg Lukács.
1993). Jean Baudrillard. Ibid. 4. Social Democracy (London: Routledge. 133. Fabianism. Memories of Class. James. Zygmunt Bauman. 3. 14. Peter Beilharz. Labour’s Utopias: Bolshevism.. Max Lerner. 1994). The Experiment That Failed (London: Routledge. Beilharz. Socialism 1. chap. The Imaginary Institution of Society (Oxford: Polity. America As a Civilization (New York: Henry Holt. 10. Charles Beard and Mary Beard. “Trotsky. The Workers Movement (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ibid. Alec Nove. Labour’s Utopias.. Peter Beilharz. 1996). 28. 1987). Ibid. 58. 30–31. The Rise of American Civilization (New York: Macmillan. Peter Beilharz. Selected Writings of Eduard Bernstein (Atlantic Highlands: Humanities. 2003). 9. Alan Ball. 1987). Australia. 15. 240–41. 124. 1982). and the Theory of the Transition to Socialism. 1987). The Mirror of Production (St. 24. Donald Sassoon. 23.. Anthony Wright.202 Notes to Chapter 1 13. Peter Beilharz. Culture and the Visual in the Work of Bernard Smith (Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. 1976). Md. Peter Beilharz. 27. Peter Beilharz. 19. Socialisms (Oxford: Oxford University Press. Johann Arnason. Transforming Labor (Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. 4. 22. Cornelius Castoriadis.. R. 1994). Alain Touraine.” Ph. 11. Bauman.: Rowman and Littlefield. Trotskyism. 13. 12. 1983. Memories of Class (London: Routledge. . and the Transition to Socialism (London: Croom Helm. 1992). American Civilization (Boston: Blackwell. Trotsky. Imagining the Antipodes: Theory. 1927). Ronald Tiersky. Ibid.D. Ferdinand Tönnies. Clayton. 20. 8. Ibid. 1982). Peter Beilharz. One Hundred Years of Socialism (London: Tauris. dissertation. 26. The Theory and Practice of Italian Communism (London: Merlin. 5. 25. Alastair Davidson. Zygmunt Bauman. 1. 1994). Socialism: The Active Utopia (London: Allen and Unwin. 21. Social Democracy (London: Routledge. 2.. Monash University. 1974). 17. 6. Transforming Labor: Labour Tradition and the Labor Decade (Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. Ibid.. 1997). 1986). 7. 1992). 26. Fabianism.. Beilharz. Labour’s Utopias. Beilharz. 1996). C. 1957). 43. 13. Manfred Steger. City and State (Melbourne: University of Melbourne Press.. Ibid. Zygmunt Bauman: Dialectic of Modernity (London: Sage. Labour’s Utopias: Bolshevism.. Beilharz.. Peter Beilharz. Manfred Steger. Louis: Telos. The Economics of Feasible Socialism (London: Allen and Unwin: 1980). Ibid. Postmodern Socialism. Ibid. Postmodern Socialism: Romanticism. 2000). 16. 11. Ibid. 1975). L. 1983). Ordinary Stalinism (London: Allen and Unwin. Trotskyism. 2. 18. 28. The Quest for Evolutionary Socialism: Eduard Bernstein and Social Democracy (New York: Cambridge University Press. 1993). 1997). Community and Association (London: Routledge. 7–8. Imagining America: Influence and Images in Twentieth Century Russia (Lanham.
Notes to Chapter 2
14. Beilharz, Labour’s Utopias, 24. 15. Ibid., 30. 16. Ian Britain, Fabianism and Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982). 17. Martin Wiener, English Culture and the Decline of the Industrial Spirit (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985). 18. Anthony Wright, G. D. H. Cole and Socialist Democracy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979). 19. Anthony Wright, R. H. Tawney (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1987). 20. Beilharz, Labour’s Utopias, chap. 3. 21. Werner Sombart, The Jews and Modern Capitalism (New York: Free Press, 1951); Hilaire Belloc, The Servile State (London: Constable, 1913). 22. Beilharz, Labour’s Utopias, 62. 23. Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks (New York: International, 1971); Alastair Davidson, Antonio Gramsci (London: Merlin, 1978). 24. George Lukács, History and Class Consciousness (London: Merlin, 1971). 25. Martin Jay, The Dialectical Imagination (Boston: Little Brown, 1973); Rolf Wiggershaus, The Frankfurt School (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1994). 26. François Dosse, History of Structuralism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997). 27. Peter Beilharz, Trotsky, Trotskyism, and the Transition to Socialism (London: Croom Helm, 1987). 28. Boris Frankel, Beyond the State? (London: Macmillan, 1983); Bob Jessop, The Capitalist State (London: Martin Robinson, 1982). 29. Anne Showstack Sassoon, Gramsci’s Politics (London: Hutchinson, 1987). 30. Andrew Arato and Jean Cohen, Civil Society and Political Theory (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1992). 31. Ferenc Fehér and Agnes Heller, “Class, Democracy, Modernity,” Theory and Society 12 (1983).
2. Socialism by the Back Door
1. Quoted by Susan Buck-Morss in Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project (Boston: MIT Press, 1989), 336. 2. See Paul Sauer, The Story of the Beilharz Family (Sydney: Temple Society, 1988); Paul Sauer, The Holy Land Called: The Story of the Temple Society (Melbourne: Temple Society, 1991). 3. Peter Beilharz, “Trotsky, Trotskyism, and the Theory of the Transition to Socialism,” Ph.D. thesis, Monash University, Clayton, Australia, 1983; Peter Beilharz, Trotsky, Trotskyism, and the Transition to Socialism (London: Croom Helm, 1987). 4. Peter Beilharz, Labour’s Utopias: Bolshevism, Fabianism, Social Democracy (London: Routledge, 1992). 5. Peter Beilharz, ed., Social Theory: A Guide to Central Thinkers (Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1992); Peter Beilharz, Mark Considine, and Rob Watts, Arguing about the Welfare State: The Australian Experience (Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1992); Peter Beilharz, Gillian Robinson, and John Rundell, eds., Between Totalitarianism and Postmodernity (Boston: MIT Press, 1992). 6. Verity Burgmann, “The Strange Death of Labour History,” in Bede Nairn and Labor History, ed. Bob Carr et al. (Sydney: Pluto, 1991); Raelene Frances and Bruce Scates, “Is Labour History Dead?” Australian Historical Studies 25, no. 100 (April 1993): 470–81.
Notes to Chapter 3
7. Peter Beilharz, Postmodern Socialism: Romanticism, City and State (Melbourne: University of Melbourne Press, 1994). 8. Peter Beilharz, Transforming Labor: Labour Tradition and the Labor Decade in Australia (Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 1994). 9. See my “Republicanism and Citizenship,” in The Republicanism Debate, ed. Wayne Hudson and David Carter (Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1993), 109–17; Carole Pateman, Participation and Democratic Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1970); Orlando Patterson, Freedom (New York: Basic, 1991); and my Postmodern Socialism. 10. William Morris, “A Dream of John Ball,” in William Morris, ed. G. D. H. Cole (Bloomsbury, England: Nonesuch Press, 1934), 214.
3. The Life and Times of Social Democracy
1. Crawford B. Macpherson, The Life and Times of Liberal Democracy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977). 2. See, for example, Norman Dennis and Albert H. Halsey, English Ethical Socialism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988); cf. my review in Australian Society (September 1989). 3. These arguments are detailed more fully in Peter Beilharz, Labour’s Utopias: Bolshevism, Fabianism, Social Democracy (London and New York: Routledge, 1992). 4. E. Belfort Bax, “Our German-Fabian Convert,” in Marxism and Social Democracy, ed. H. Tudor and J. M. Tudor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 61–65; H. Hirsch, Der “Fabier” Eduard Bernstein (Bonn: Dietz 1977); see also Roger Fletcher, From Bernstein to Brandt (London: Edward Arnold, 1987); H. Kendall Rogers, “Eduard Bernstein Speaks to the Fabians,” International Review of Social History 28 (1983): 320–338; Thomas Meyer, Bernstein’s Konstructiver Sozialismus (Berlin: Dietz, 1977); Horst Heiman and Thomas Meyer, Bernstein und der Demokratische Sozialismus (Berlin: Dietz, 1978). 5. Eduard Bernstein, “Möglichkeiten Sozialismus,” Bernstein Papers (International Institute for Social History, Amsterdam), E123, n.d., 14. 6. E. Belfort Bax, “Our German Fabian Convert,” in Marxism and Social Democracy, ed. H. Tudor and J. M. Tudor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 61–62. 7. Eduard Bernstein, “Among the Philistines,” in Marxism and Social Democracy, ed. H. Tudor and J. M. Tudor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 66. 8. Tudor and Tudor, Marxism and Social Democracy, 23. 9. See generally Gunther Roth, The Social Democrats in Imperial Germany (Totowa, N.J.: Bedminster, 1963); Vernon Lidtke, The Alternative Culture: Socialist Labour in Imperial Germany (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985); Hans-Josef Steinberg, Sozialismus und deutsche Sozialdemokratie (Bonn: Neue Gesellschaft, 1972); Fletcher, From Bernstein to Brandt. 10. “Evolutionary Socialism: Interview with Herr Eduard Bernstein,” Jewish Chronicle 24, no. 11 (1899), available in the Bernstein Papers (International Institute for Social History, Amsterdam), G462, 22. 11. Eduard Bernstein, “The Socialistic Theory of the Bolsheviks . . . ,” Bernstein Papers (International Institute for Social History, Amsterdam), A123, n.d. 12. Gugliemo Carchedi, Class Analysis and Social Research (Oxford: Blackwell, 1987); H. Müller, Der Klassenkampf in der deutschen Sozialdemokratie (Zurich: Magazin, 1892). 13. Carchedi, Class Analysis and Social Research, 11. 14. Tudor and Tudor, Marxism and Social Democracy, 192f. 15. Ibid., 193, 217. 16. Ibid., 168–69.
Notes to Chapter 3
17. Ibid., 151. 18. Ibid., 90–97. 19. Ibid., 221, 229f. 20. Ibid., 233, 240. 21. Eduard Bernstein, Evolutionary Socialism (New York: Schocken, 1965), 96. 22. Ibid., 143. 23. Ibid., 147f. 24. Ibid., 148. 25. Ibid., 149. 26. Ibid., 148. 27. See generally Dieter Groh, Negativ Integration und revolutionarer Attentismus (Frankfurt: Ullstein, 1973). 28. See generally Karl Kautsky, The Agrarian Question, 2 vols. (Winchester, England: Zwan, 1988). Some of the antinomies of his position are nicely summarized by the editors, Hamza Alavi and Teodor Shanin, in their introduction. 29. Kautsky, The Agrarian Question, vol. 2, 443. 30. Karl Kautsky wrote about Morris in Der Wahre Jacob 268 (1896): 231f. 31. On dialectics, see especially Carchedi, Class Analysis and Social Research. 32. Karl Kautsky, Bernstein und das Sozialdemokratische Programme (Stuttgart: Dietz, 1899). 33. Karl Kautsky, The Materialist Conception of History, ed. J. H. Kautsky (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988), 5–6. This is a labor of scholarship and love, and Kautsky’s grandson and the publishers are to be applauded for it. 34. Ibid., 260. 35. Ibid., 28, 38–39, 43. 36. Ibid., 69, 70. Cf. Kautsky, Agrarian Question, vol. 2, 329. 37. Ibid., 356. 38. Ibid., 387. 39. Ibid., 395–97. 40. Ibid., 399. 41. Kautsky, Agrarian Question, vol. 2, 362. 42. Kautsky, Materialist Conception, 410, 419–21. 43. Ibid., 425–26. 44. Ibid., 464. 45. See generally the useful study by Harry Liebersohn, Fate and Utopia in German Sociology, 1870–1923 (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989). 46. Martin Jay, Fin de Siècle Socialism (London: Methuen, 1988). 47. Peter Beilharz, “The Australian Left: Beyond Labourism?” in Socialist Register 1985/1986 (London: Merlin, 1986); “The Labourist Tradition and the Reforming Imagination,” in Australian Welfare Historical Sociology, ed. R. Kennedy (Sydney: Macmillan, 1989); “Social Democracy and Social Justice,” Australian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology 25, no. 1 (1989). 48. See generally Marilyn Lake, “Socialism and Manhood: The Case of William Lane,” Labour History (Sydney), 50 (1986); The Limits of Hope: Soldier Settlement in Victoria 1915–1938 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987). 49. Kevin McDonald, “After the Labour Movement,” Thesis Eleven 20 (1988). 50. C. B. Macpherson, The Rise and Fall of Economic Justice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986). 51. Michael Ignatieff, “Citizenship and Moral Narcissism,” Political Quarterly 60, no. 1 (1989).
Notes to Chapter 4
52. Beatrice Potter, The Co-operative Movement in Great Britain (London: Swan Sonnenschein, 1891), 75. 53. Pierre Rosanvallon, “The Decline of Social Visibility,” in Civil Society and the State, ed. John Keane (London: Verso, 1988), 218.
4. The Fabian Imagination
1. See John K. Galbraith, The Culture of Contentment (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1992); Rosalind Williams, Notes on the Underground (Boston: MIT, 1990). 2. See Anthony Wright, Socialisms (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980); Peter Beilharz, Labour’s Utopias: Bolshevism, Fabianism, Social Democracy (London: Routledge, 1992). 3. See Peter Beilharz, Transforming Labor: Labour Tradition and the Labor Decade (Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 1994); Postmodern Socialism: Romanticism, City and State (Melbourne: University of Melbourne Press, 1994). 4. For example Richard Kearney, The Wake of Imagination (London: Hutchinson, 1988); Martin Jay, Fin-de-Siècle Socialism (London: Routledge, 1988); Stjepan G. Mestrovic, The Coming Fin-de-Siècle (London: Routledge, 1991). 5. Martin Jay, “The Apocalyptic Imagination and the Inability to Mourn,” paper presented at the Thesis Eleven Conference on Reason and Imagination, Melbourne, August 6, 1991. 6. David W. Lovell, “Some Propositions on ‘The End of Socialism’?” History of European Ideas 19 (1990). 7. Peter Beilharz, “Fabianism and Marxism: Sociology and Political Economy,” Australian Journal of Political Science 27 (1992). 8. Beilharz, Labour’s Utopias, chap. l; Peter Beilharz, “Karl Marx,” in Social Theory, ed. Peter Beilharz (Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1992). 9. See chapter 3 of this volume. 10. Beilharz, “Fabianism and Marxism.” 11. Alan McBriar, Fabian, Socialism, and English Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1962); Ian Britain, Fabianism and Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982). 12. Anthony Wright, G. D. H. Cole and Socialist Democracy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979). Wright also discusses recent enthusiasms for Tawney in his R. H. Tawney (Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 1987). 13. Paul Hirst, ed., The Pluralist Theory of the State (London: Routledge, 1989). 14. Sally Alexander, ed., Women’s Fabian Tracts (London: Routledge, 1986). 15. Sidney Webb, “The Existence of Evil,” Passfield Papers (London School of Economics and Political Science) VI, 1, p. 35. 16. Sidney Webb, “The Ethics of Existence,” Passfield Papers (London School of Economics and Political Science) VI, 4, p. 20. 17. Beatrice Potter, The Co-operative Movement in Great Britain (London: Swann Sonnenschein, 1891), 35; and see generally Sidney Webb and Beatrice Webb, The Consumers Cooperative Movement (London: Longmans, 1921). 18. Beatrice Potter, “The Relation between Co-operation and Trade Unionism,” in Problems of Modern Industry, ed. Sidney Webb and Beatrice Webb (London: Longmans, 1920), 193. 19. Ibid., 200–201. 20. Sidney Webb and Beatrice Webb, What Syndicalism Means: An Examination of the Origin and Motives of the Movement with an Analysis of its Proposals for the Control of Industry, supplement to The Crusade, August 1912.
Notes to Chapter 5
21. Sidney Webb, “The Economic Function of the Middle Class,” Passfield Papers (London School of Economics and Political Science) VI, 20. 22. Ibid., 32. 23. Brian L. Crowley, The Self, the Individual and the Community (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987). 24. Leonard Woolf, “Political Thought and the Webbs,” in The Webbs and Their Work, ed. M. Cole (London: Penn, 1949). 25. Anthony Giddens, The Constitution of Society (Cambridge: Polity, 1984); Cornelius Castoriadis, The Imaginary Institution of Society (Cambridge: Polity, 1987). 26. G. D. H. Cole, Guild Socialism Re-stated (London: Parsons, 1920), 124. 27. Ibid., 33. 28. Sidney Webb and Beatrice Webb, A Constitution for the Socialist Commonwealth of Great Britain (London: Longmans, 1920), 149, 309. 29. Ibid., 51. 30. Edward Pease, History of the Fabian Society (London: Fifield, 1916), 215; Beatrice Webb, Minority Report of the Poor Law Commission, 2 vols. (London, 1909). 31. Webb, Minority Report, vol. 1, 10–11. 32. Ibid., 12. 33. Ibid., 547. 34. Sidney Webb and Beatrice Webb, The Prevention of Destitution (London: Longmans, 1911), 33–35. 35. Webb and Webb, A Constitution, 196; and see the Webbs’ Methods of Social Study (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975). 36. See chapter 3 of this volume; see generally Karl Kautsky, The Labour Revolution (London: Allen and Unwin, 1925), and The Materialist Conception of History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988). 37. See chapter 3 of this volume; Karl Kautsky, The Dictatorship of the Proletariat (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1971). 38. Webb and Webb, What Syndicalism Means, 151. 39. See, for example, Beatrice Webb, The Wages of Men and Women: Should They Be Equal? (London: Longman, 1919), 26–27.
5. The Australian Left
1. See further Ralph Miliband, “Socialist Advance in Britain,” Socialist Register 1983 (London: Merlin, 1983). The peculiarly Australian configuration of laborism is detailed by Winton Higgins in “Reconstructing Australian Communism,” Socialist Register 1974 (London: Merlin, 1974), and by P. Love in Labour and the Money Power (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1984). 2. Peter Wilenski, “Reform and Its Implementation: The Whitlam Years in Retrospect,” in Labor Essays 1980, ed. Gareth Evans and John Reeves (Melbourne: Drummond, 1980). 3. Robert Catley and Bruce McFarlane, Australian Capitalism in Boom and Depression (Sydney: APCOL, 1981); Brian Head, ed., State and Economy in Australia (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1983). 4. See especially G. Elliott, “The Social Policy of the New Right,” in Australia and the New Right, ed. M. Sawer (Sydney: Allen and Unwin 1982). 5. Jim Hagan, History of the ACTU (Melbourne: Longman-Cheshire 1981), 452. 6. Liberal Party of Australia (LPA), Facing the Facts: Report of the Liberal Party Committee of Review (Sydney: LPA, 1983).
Notes to Chapter 5
7. See, for example, the references to and quotations from Curtin peppered throughout Bob Hawke, National Reconciliation: The Speeches of Bob Hawke (Sydney: Fontana 1984). 8. Herbert C. Coombs, “John Curtin: A Consensus Prime Minister?” Arena 69 (1984). 9. Robert Watts, “The Light on the Hill: The Origins of the Australian Welfare State, 1935–1945,” doctoral thesis, Melbourne University, Melbourne, 1983; “The ALP and Liberalism 1941–1945,” Thesis Eleven 7 (1983); “The Origins of the Australian Welfare State,” in Australian Welfare History, ed. Richard Kennedy (Melbourne: Macmillan 1982). 10. See especially the work of Watts, and see also Tim Rowse, Australian Liberalism and National Character (Malmsbury, Australia: Kibble, 1978). 11. This view has been presented in Britain by Barry Hindess in “Bob’s Bon Accord,” New Socialist, January 1985. 12. Australian Labor Party–Australian Council of Trade Unions (ALP-ACTU), Statement of Accord (ACTU, Melbourne, n.d.), 1–3. 13. Ibid., 7. 14. Ibid., 4. 15. Ibid., 16. 16. See Australian Government Publishing Service (AGPS), National Economic Summit Conference: Documents and Proceedings (Canberra: AGPS 1983), vol. 2, 18–21; Peter Beilharz, “The View from the Summit,” Arena 64 (1983). 17. AGPS, National Economic Summit Conference, 21ff. 18. See, for example, Chilla Bulbeck, “The Accord: The First Two Years,” Thesis Eleven 14 (1986); and see Gwyneth Singleton, “The Economic Planning Advisory Council,” and Randal Stewart, “The Politics of the Accord,” in Politics 20, no. 1 (1985). 19. See, for example, Paul Keating, “Opportunities for Investment and Corporate Finance in Australia,” Australian Foreign Affairs Record 56, no. 2 (1985). 20. See, for example, Ted Wheelwright, “The Dollar Is Down, the Debt Is Up and the Government Is Out to Lunch,” Australian Left Review 92 (1985). 21. “The Strategic Basis Papers” (National Times, March 30, 1985) clarified this tendency; and see Bill Hayden, Uranium, the Joint Facilities, Disarmament, and Peace (Canberra: AGPS 1984). 22. Wilenski, “Reform and Its Implementation,” 43; Peter Beilharz and Patricia Moynihan, “Medibank: Monument or Mausoleum of the Whitlam Government?” Thesis Eleven 7 (1983). 23. For detail see, for example, Tribune (Melbourne), July 3, 1985. 24. See, for example, Katharine West, The Revolution in Australian Politics (Ringwood, Australia: Penguin, 1984); cf. Peter Beilharz and Robert Watts, “The Discovery of Corporatism,” Australian Society, November 1983. 25. See especially Bob Jessop, “Corporatism, Parliamentarism and Social Democracy,” in Trends toward Corporatist Intermediation, ed. Phillipe Schmitter and Gerhard Lehmbruch (Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage, 1979). 26. Pete Steedman, Full Employment Is Possible: The Accord—A Framework for Economic and Industrial Democracy (Canberra, June 6, 1984); and see generally Peter Beilharz, “The Left, the Accord, and the Future of Socialism,” Thesis Eleven 13 (1986): 5–21. 27. Andrew Theophanous, “Back to Basics, Says the Left,” Age (Melbourne), July 5, 1984. 28. Tim Colebatch, “Cliches, Not Logic, Behind Condemnation of the Left,” Age (Melbourne), March 9, 1985; Kevin Childs, “The New Socialist Left,” Age (Melbourne), November 15, 1984. It has been suggested that their hand can be seen in the Victorian ALP
Notes to Chapter 5
policy document Social Justice (Age [Melbourne], March 7, 1985). If this is true, there is little to be impressed by: the document is, like the Accord, lacking in any real rigor or adequate mechanisms of implementation. 29. See, for example, Bill Hayden, The Implications of Democratic Socialism, Fabian pamphlet 16 (Melbourne), 1968; see also “The Contemporary Implications of Democratic Socialism,” in Labor Essays 1982, ed. Gareth Evans and John Reeves (Melbourne: Drummond, 1982), and even Bob Hawke, “Fabianism and Labor Policy,” in National Reconciliation: The Speeches of Bob Hawke (Sydney: Fontana, 1984). 30. See the essays collected in Labor Essays 1980, ed. Evans and Reeves, 157. 31. See Love, Labour and the Money Power. 32. See Gareth Evans’s essays in Labor Essays 1980 and in B. O’Meagher, The Socialist Objective (Sydney: Hale and Iremonger, 1983). 33. Bob Connell, “Towards a Socialist Program,” in The Socialist Objective (Sydney: Hale and Iremonger, 1983), and Socialism and Labor: An Australian Strategy (Sydney: Labor Praxis, 1978). Agnes Heller, Why We Should Maintain the Socialist Objective (Kooyong, Australia: ALP, 1982). 34. Ferenc Fehér and A. Heller, “Class, Democracy, Modernity,” Theory and Society 12 (1983). 35. See, for example, Gareth Evans’s essays in Labor Essays 1980. 36. Bruce O’Meagher, Introduction to The Socialist Objective. 37. Connell, “Towards a Socialist Program.” 38. See Rick Kuhn, “Alternative Strategies: Left Nationalism and Revolutionary Marxism,” Journal of Australian Political Economy 12/13 (1982). 39. See Alastair Davidson, Antonio Gramsci: The Man, His Ideas (Sydney: ALR, 1968). Davidson had in fact also introduced Althusser to Australians; see his “Althusser: Marxism Old and New,” Arena 19 (1969). The young Althusserians were apparently less than taken with Davidson’s views; Grant Evans criticized them in Intervention 2 (1972), while Winton Higgins overlooked Davidson’s contribution in his Socialist Register article. 40. See especially Kelvin Rowley, “Pastoral Capitalism,” Intervention 1 (1972); J. Collins, “Immigrant Workers in Australia,” Intervention 4 (1974). 41. See, for example, “Beyond Marxism? Interventions after Marx,” Intervention 17 (1983). 42. See, for example, Tom O’Lincoln, Into the Mainstream: The Decline of Australian Communism (Sydney: Stained Wattle, 1985), 143ff. 43. Higgins, “Reconstructing Australian Communism,” 179ff. 44. Laurie Carmichael, “A Peoples’ Program,” Intervention 9 (1977), and A. Game and R. Pringle, “Reply to Carmichael,” Intervention 10 (1978). 45. John Sendy, The Communist Party: History, Thoughts, and Questions (Melbourne: CPA History Group, 1978), 28; and see generally his Comrades Come Rally! (Melbourne: Nelson, 1978). 46. For example, Bernie Taft, “Marxism Is Open Ended,” Australian Left Review 83 (1983). 47. Cf. Fehér and Heller, “Class, Democracy, Modernity.” 48. Statement by 23 Members of the Victorian State Committee of the CPA (Melbourne, April 17, 1984); and see “The CPA Split: Renewal or Dissolution?” Thesis Eleven 9 (1984). 49. CPA, Australian Socialism: A Proposal for Renewal (Sydney: CPA, 1984). 50. See, for example, Jill Julius Mathews, “Putting Women First,” Australian Left Review 84 (1983).
Notes to Chapter 5
51. Laurie Aarons, A Case for Radical Tax Reform (Sydney: CPA, 1984). 52. Socialist Perspectives on Issues for the Eighties: CPA 28th National Congress (Sydney: CPA, 1984), 5. 53. Socialist Alternative Melbourne Collective, Make Melbourne Marvellous (Melbourne: CPA, 1985). 54. Alan Barcan, “The Socialist Left in Australia,” APSA (Sydney) Monograph 2, 1960. And see Fabian Newsletter (Melbourne) 24, no. 4 (1985). 55. David McKnight, “Rethinking Socialism in the 80s,” in Socialism in Australia: Towards Renewal? ed. David McKnight (Sydney: D. McKnight, 1985), 3. 56. Ibid., 10. 57. Australasian Spartacist, March 1985. 58. See, for example, O’Lincoln, Into the Mainstream. 59. See, for example, Denis Freney, The Socialist Labour League: Moonies of the Left (Sydney: Denis Freney, 1982); Nick Beams, A Stalinist Liar Unmasked: A Reply to Denis Freney (Sydney: Workers News Pamphlet, 1983). 60. Manifesto of Social Rights (Sydney: Strawberry Hills, n.d.); Socialist Party of Australia and Socialist Workers Party, Joint Statement of the Socialist Party of Australia and the Socialist Workers Party (n.p.: 1984); Anna Pha, ACTU Policies on Unemployment (Sydney: SPA, n.d.); Anna Pha and Jack McPhillips, The Crisis, the Accord and Summit Communique (Sydney: SPA, n.d.); Socialist Workers Party, The Struggle for Socialism in the Imperialist Epoch (Sydney: Pathfinder, 1984). 61. Joint Statement of the SPA and the SWP, 9f, 4. 62. See, for example, Tribune (Melbourne), May 1, 1985; Ken Cooke, “Confusion in the Peace Ranks,” Age (Melbourne), May 28, 1985; Ken Mansell, “Making Sense of the NDP Split,” Tribune (Melbourne), May 29, 1985. 63. Joint Statement of the SPA and SWP, 7ff. 64. O’Lincoln, Into the Mainstream, 128ff, 154. The debate had other points of significance, signaling as it did both the attraction of the Althusserians to the revolutionary legacy of Trotskyism and the affinity between Deutscher’s views and those of the frontistEurocommunist lineage. 65. See Mansell, “Making Sense of the NDP Split.” 66. Metal Trades Unions, Policy for Industry Development and More Jobs (Sydney: Metal Trades Unions, August 1984). 67. Ibid., iii, xvi. 68. Ibid., 197. 69. Ainslie Jolley, Towards the Regeneration of Australian Manufacturing, Victorian Chamber of Manufacturers Research (Melbourne) Discussion Paper 14, 1984. 70. Australasian Spartacist, March 1985. 71. See, for example, the editorial in Journal of Australian Political Economy 17 (1984). 72. Stewart Clegg, Geoff Dow, and Paul Boreham, “From the Politics of Production to the Production of Politics,” Thesis Eleven 9 (1984); Geoff Dow, “The Case for Corporatism,” Australian Society, November 1984. 73. Walter Korpi, The Democratic Class Struggle (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1984). 74. Winton Higgins and Nixon Apple, “How Limited Is Reformism?” Theory and Society 12 (1983). 75. Clegg, Dow, and Boreham, “From the Politics of Production to the Production of Politics,” 27. 76. Winton Higgins, “Response to Questionnaire on Social Democracy,” Thesis Eleven 7 (1983): 134.
83. 6. History of the ACTU. Clegg. Philipa Hall and Barbara Preston. Stephen Frenkel and Alice Coolican. Beilharz and Watts. J. Ted Hill. Interventions beyond Marx. 82. Ralph Miliband et al. inter alia. 1983). Alastair Davidson. and Modernity. See. “The Accord: What’s in It for Women. September 1975 (http://wordpress. 84.” Melbourne Journal of Politics 15 (1983–84). Democracy.” Australian Society. March 1985.” Intervention 18 (1984). Peter Beilharz. Australian Sociologies (Sydney: Allen and Unwin. “From the Politics of Production to the Production of Politics. . for example. Foundations of the National Welfare State (Sydney: Allen and Unwin. “Corporatism. See the survey in Melbourne Revolutionary Marxists. Dow and Boreham. the Accord and the Future of Socialism. Herouvim. On the meanderings of Maoism see. for example. “The View from the Summit”. Terry Irving.” Scarlet Woman 17 (1983). Peter Beilharz and Rob Watts. ed. December 1984. Unions against Capitalism? (Sydney: Allen and Unwin. May 1984. Details of “Whitlam labor” are provided later in the chapter. See.com/tag/melbourne-revolutionary-marxists/). Democracy.Notes to Chapter 6 211 77. “Corporatism. “The Accord and Morals. Frank Castles. inter alia. 1984). Bob Connell.” Australian Society. for whom exclusion is a lived reality. Beilharz and Watts. 1984. See. Related but different arguments have been put forward by feminists. Calif.” Australian Left Review 89 (1984). See. Gough Whitlam was Prime Minister of the reformist Australian Labor Party government between 1972 and 1975. and see the Local Consumption series. “Tories in Labor Drag?” Australian Society. The Communist Party of Australia (Stanford. “Affirmative Action: Liberal Rationality or Challenge to Patriarchy?” Legal Service Bulletin. See. 4. 2. See Hagan. Mark Burford. “The Discovery of Corporatism”. Stuart Macintyre. “Marxists and Antimarxists. 1985). Barcan. for example. Triado. R. February 1985. 183. cf. Curtain.” Thesis Eleven 15 (1986). Hindess. August 8. Beilharz. “Radical Political Science.” in Surveys of Australian Political Science. Gill. 89.” Arena 69 (1984). “Why Do We Need a Left Party?” Tribune (Melbourne). 1985). “Abstaining and Complaining. Rob Watts.” Australian Society. 1984). “Corporatism.” 33. and Social Justice 1. “Interpreting Socialism. Danny Blackman. “Women and the Accord. “The Left. 86.” 78. 87. “Post-Structuralism as Ideology. Winton Higgins. 3. Julian Triado.” Thesis Eleven 9 (1984). and Modernity. Triado. and Modernity. 1969).” Scarlet Woman 17 (1983). (London: Merlin. 81. Democracy. 1985). 1989). March 1984. Reflections on Communism in Australia (Melbourne: CPA-ML. Ann Game and Rosemary Pringle.: Hoover. as well as G. Ann Game. Don Aitken (Sydney: Allen and Unwin. ed. E.” 40. “The Socialist Left in Australia. Australian Laborism. “Bob’s Bon Accord”. for example. 79. “Politics of the Revolving Door—The CPA (ML). 85. Winners and Losers (Sydney: Allen and Unwin. The Working Class and Welfare (Sydney: Allen and Unwin. “The Australian Left: Beyond Labourism?” in Socialist Register 1985/1986. 1987). Diane Austin. “From Here to Fraternity: Women and the Hawke Government.” 88. Social Democracy. 80. A Call for the Revolutionary Regroupment of the Australian Left (Melbourne: Melbourne Revolutionary Marxists.
Marc Robinson. Peter Love.” Thesis Eleven 15 (1985). Pincus. 16. Higgins (Sydney: Allen and Unwin. 165.” Australian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology 23 (1987). 1978). Radical and Working Class Politics (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. B. Love. Socialism without Doctrines (Sydney: APCOL.” Thesis Eleven 7 (1983). Philipp. . 11. 21. Troy (Sydney: Allen and Unwin. Things Worth Fighting For (Melbourne: ALP. 30. Liberalism and Australian National Character (Malmsbury. 31. 18. quoted in Robin Gollan. H. quoted in J. 15. leading “friend of labor. Barnard. “Equity in Australian History. “1890: Turning Point in Labour History? in Historical Studies: Selected Articles. 65.212 Notes to Chapter 6 5. Peter Beilharz. On Australia’s Constitution (Camberwell. Gough Whitlam. 178. The Whitlam Government 1972–1975 (Ringwood. K. it produced the right-wing Democratic Labor Party (DLP). Labor and the Money Power (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.” 13. P. and Arbitration. 26. B. “The Short History of Social Democracy in Australia. 19. Australia: Penguin. “Labour. Head (Melbourne: Oxford University Press. 265. Rob Watts. J. 130. Australia: Widescope. 35. 27. Higgins. 199. “Social Democracy and Social Justice.. Radical and Working Class Politics. delivered the controversial Harvester basic wage case in 1907. Stuart Macintyre. 1952). thus enshrining the principles of New Protection. “Labour and Market Forces: Labor Party Views on the Economic Role of Government from the 1940’s to the 1970’s. 12. The ALP “split” occurred in 1955. John Rickard. “Labour. J. Australia (Brisbane: Jacaranda. The DLP combined anticommunism with laborist welfare policies and helped for twenty years to keep the ALP from office. 1985). Hancock. 28. The result of anticommunist agitation led by B.. 1967). 29. 7. 10. Ibid. 1977). “Socialist Advance in Britain. 25. A. 1983).” in A Just Society? ed. quoted in Gollan. ed. Don. 8. Santamaria’s Catholic Action Movement. H. 1977). Ben Chifley. Second Series (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. “Revising the Revisionists: The ALP and Liberalism 1941–1945.” advocate of arbitration. none of which has prevented the right from regenerating within the ALP since the 1980s. Macintyre.” Socialist Register (1983). Ralph Miliband. Capital. 9. Australia. 1922). Government and Capitalism (Sydney: Allen and Unwin. 14. Ibid. Labour and the Money Power. 1984). 20. 1981). which was the main third party until the 1970s. 1982). Noel Butlin. and Arbitration 1890–1920. 1961). 200–201. A New Province for Law and Order (London: Grant Richards. A. 1851–1929. B. Tim Rowse. Capital. Gough Whitlam. 1960). Alfred Deakin. Henry Bourne Higgins. 17. 23. Stuart Macintyre. 1985). William Roylance. Australia: Kibble.” Journal of Australian Studies 20 (1987): 92. 22. 24. Hancock.” in State and Economy in Australia. W. and J. C. Stuart Macintyre. Albert Metin. 65. 69. 6.
. Ibid.” Socialist Register (London: Merlin. 42.: Hoover. “Australia. ed.Notes to Chapter 7 213 32. 117.” Australian Historical Studies 92 (1989)..” Thesis Eleven 16 (1987). Robert J. The standard history of the CPA is Alastair Davidson. 3. Clark. M. 273. 9. The End of Australian Communism 1. for example. 1988). “Reading Politics: Social Theory and Social Policy. Gouley and P.” 35. See. “The Social Policy of the New Right. Peter Beilharz. 41. Peter Beilharz. 1952). 36. Socialist Party of Australia (SPA) and Socialist Workers Party (SWP). Hind. See my “Elegies of Australian Communism.. for example. Peter Beilharz. Ibid. 11.” Arena 77 (1987). On the 1984 split. Ibid. Australia Reconstructed (Canberra: AGPS. Calif. 12.. Ibid. W. Ibid. 7. Whitlam. 1984). An exceptional cultural analysis can be found in Andrew Metcalfe. 33. Ibid. Joint Statement of the Socialist Party of Australia and the Socialist Workers Party (Sydney: SPA and SWP. The Whitlam Government. National Reconciliation: The Speeches of Bob Hawke (Sydney: Fontana. . 1976). 1987. 61. The Communist Party of Australia (Stanford. K. 1960).. 39. James Walter. H. Frank Castles. 14. 11. See. for example. See also Tom O’Lincoln. Peter Beilharz. Robinson. Leon Trotsky. 257. “How We Kept the Faith for Labor. Ibid. Journey into the Future (Melbourne: Australasian Book Society.: Hoover. 1985/1986). Into the Mainstream: The Decline of Australian Communism (Sydney: Stained Wattle Press. 1982). 1969). Meeting Soviet Man (Melbourne: Angus and Robertson. 34. “The Discourse of Labourism. Frank Hardy. 4. 1972). Gregory Elliot. For Freedom and Dignity (Sydney: Allen and Unwin. 38. Higgins. ed. 2. Lucia: University of Queensland Press. The Leader: A Political Biography of Gough Whitlam (St. Hawke. chap.. The Revolution Betrayed (New York: Pathfinder. Journey into the Future. Paul Keating. 13. Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)–Trade Development Commission (TDC). 264. W. 743. A. Sawer (Sydney: Allen and Unwin. 10. 6. 10. “Australia and Sweden: The Politics of Economic Vulnerability. “The Australian Left: Beyond Labourism?” Socialist Register (London: Merlin. 37. National Economic Planning (Sydney: Angus and Robertson/AIPS. 31. C. “The CPA Split: Renewal or Dissolution?” Thesis Eleven 9 (1984). 1974). 119. “Labour and Market Forces. 43. 5. 1934).” in Australia and the New Right.” in Yearbook on International Communist Affairs (Stanford. 1984). 1980).” Australian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology 23 (1989). March 27. 1985). Peter Beilharz and Rob Watts. 117. 8. Calif. 7. Hardy.” Age (Melbourne). 40. 1. “Reconstructing Australian Communism. 1987). M. A new history of the CPA is being prepared by Stuart Macintyre and Andrew Wells. Duncan. “Political Unionism: The Way Ahead?” Arena 82 (1988). G.. 14.. see.
All That Is Solid Melts into Air (New York: Simon and Schuster. 6. vol. Zygmunt Bauman. 1965). Austin. Political Parties (London: Jarrold. Mass. Jean Baudrillard.. 1982). 1983). Labour’s Utopias. Peter Beilharz. generally. Between the Lines (Melbourne: Sybylla. Peter Beilharz. The Workers’ Movement (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2. The Webbs’ Australian Diary 1898 (Melbourne: Pitman. 18. Transforming Labor—Labour Tradition and the Labor Decade in Australia (Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. 9. 3. 1963). Mark Considine. 1992). 1906). 7. 16.” in ibid.: Bedminster. 10. G. Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (London: Verso. 1994). 1987). Gillian Robinson. Arguing about the Welfare State: The Australian Experience (Sydney: Allen and Unwin. The Alternative Culture: Socialist Labour in Imperial Germany (Oxford: Oxford University Press. Peter Beilharz. 98. Socialism after Communism 1. Jurgen Tampke. Out of Luck: Poor Australians and Welfare (Sydney: Allen and Unwin. Jacques Derrida. eds.214 Notes to Chapter 9 15. 1988). Albert Metin.. 4.: MIT Press. 1992). The Social Democrats in Imperial Germany (Totowa. ed. 1985). “Is Sociology Still the Study of Society?” in ibid. 2. Postmodern Socialism (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. Social Democracy (London: Routledge. 5. Labour’s Utopias. 1915). 2 vols. Socialism without Doctrines (Sydney: APCOL. Memories of Class (London: Routledge. Postmodern Socialism: Romanticism. Karl Marx. See generally Roberto Michels. Peter Beilharz. City and State (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. Beilharz. 1988). 4. Mark Considine. See. State and Revolution (Moscow: Progress. See. generally. Between Totalitarianism and Postmodernity 1. Alain Touraine. 8. Craig Calhoun. Peter Beilharz. chap. 1982). 1994). 1994). 5. 1994). Arguing about the Welfare State: The Australian Experience (Sydney: Allen and Unwin. Between Totalitarianism and Postmodernity: A Thesis Eleven Reader (Cambridge. 2. 1994). Wunderbar Country: Germans Look at Australia. for example. More specifically. See. 1984). 1 (Moscow: Progress 1970). Steven Seidman. and Rob Watts. Peter Beilharz. Alain Touraine. 1983). see Gunther Roth. 3. Stephen Garton. Anne Curthoys and John Merritt. 11. . Bernice Morris. Capital. The Question of Class Struggle (Oxford: Blackwell. Liberalism and the Origins of European Social Theory (Berkeley: University of California Press. 1977). and Rob Watts. (Sydney: Allen and Unwin. 8. Vladimir I. 1970). 1992). Australia’s First Cold War. 1850–1914 (Sydney: Hale and Iremonger. A. chap. and Vernon Lidtke. and John Rundell. 1985). Lenin.J. N. See Victor S. America (London: Verso. Clarke. 1. Beilharz. eds. Zygmunt Bauman. “A Sociological Theory of Postmodernity. Fabianism. The Labour Movement in Australasia: A Study in Social Democracy (New York: Burt Franklin. Spectres of Marx (London: Routledge. Marshall Berman. 1990).. 17. 9. and see Peter Beilharz. Labour’s Utopias: Bolshevism. 1984 and 1986).
Fabianism. Industrial Democracy (London: B. In sociology. See Peter Beilharz.J. Mass. G. 1992). Social Democracy (London: Routledge. Arguing about the Welfare State: The Australian Experience (Sydney: Allen and Unwin. Democracy and Civil Society (London: Verso. Paul Hirst. 1989). P. Cole. The Birth of Fascist Ideology. Peter Beilharz. Craig Calhoun. The Making of the English Working Class (London: Gollancz. 4. 10. and see L. Hobhouse. Webb. Johann P. Postmodern Socialism: Romanticism. 8. Labour’s Utopias. 5. T. chap. 1962). Thompson. and The Consumers’ Co-operative Movement (London: Longman. Irony. Memories of Class (London: Routledge. 24. 133.: MIT Press. Liberalism (London: Oxford University Press. The Future That Failed (London: Routledge. 1982). Donald Sassoon. 2. 133. City and State (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. 9. 96. 3. 1970). and Rob Watts. Imagining the Antipodes (Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. 1913). Oswald Spengler.Notes to Chapter 10 215 6. and S. 14. See Beilharz. The Pluralist Theory of the State (London: Routledge. 10. Mill. 1991). 1982). chap. 16. Reactionary Modernism (New York: Cambridge University Press. 1918). The Question of Class Struggle (Oxford: Blackwell. 127. 1989). 1996). Tauris. 123. 1919). Equality (London: Unwin. 1964). 1986). Guild Socialism Re-stated (London: Parsons. 8. Beatrice Webb and Sidney Webb. Zygmunt Bauman. ed. The Question of Class Struggle (Oxford: Blackwell. H. Arnason. Civil Society and Political Theory (Cambridge. 18. 11. Mass. Liberalism. Solidarity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 12. One Hundred Years of Socialism. Women’s Fabian Tracts (London: Routledge. Preussentum und Sozialismus (Munich: Beck. 1993). “Negation and Ambivalence: Marx. B. Full Employment in a Free Society (London: Allen and Unwin. Sassoon. E. Labour’s Utopias: Bolshevism. 1997). One Hundred Years of Socialism (London and New York: I. Socialism in Europe 1. Hobhouse.. Zeev Sternhell. John Maynard Keynes. of course. Leonard Trelawney Hobhouse. Peter Beilharz. Peter Beilharz. John Keane. Principles of Political Economy.. 1920). the very idea of personality is necessarily social. Otto Schuddekopf. Zygmunt Bauman.: Princeton University Press. 173. 1992). 1982). 1994). 1944). Critique of Power (Cambridge. Contingency. ed. John Stuart Mill. Principles of Political Economy. William Beveridge. Craig Calhoun. 13. 37. Axel Honneth. Memories of Class (London: Routledge. 9. Richard Rorty. 1921). Sally Alexander. 7. Jeffrey Herf. Simmel and Bolshevism on Money. Richard Henry Tawney. 1942). books 4 and 5 (Harmondsworth. 129. 1936). 1992). Peter Beilharz. D. Linke Leute von rechts (Berlin: Kohlhammer. 1989). 10.” Thesis Eleven 47 (1996). 364–67. 1982). Jean Cohen and Andrew Arato. 5. 15. 7. . 1994).: MIT Press. England: Penguin. 1988). 17. 1960). N. 6. 1996). Nation and Modernity (Rejkjavik: NSU. 11. The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money (London: Macmillan. From Cultural Rebellion to Political Revolution (Princeton. Mark Considine. Metaphysical Theory of the State (London: Allen and Unwin.
Intellectuals and Utopians 1. One Hundred Years of Socialism. Freedom (New York: Basic Books. “Dictatorship over Needs. England).” Archives Europeenes de Sociologie 12 (1971). “Poland and Britain: Two Concepts of Socialism. and Postmodern Socialism (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. Peter Beilharz. . reprinted in The Bauman Reader. Alain Touraine. Ibid. See Beilharz. Trotsky. 1995). Orlando Patterson. Post-Modernity and Intellectuals (Oxford: Polity. 14.216 Notes to Chapter 12 12. Ibid. See Cornelius Castoriadis. 2000).” International Affairs 1 (1957). ed. See also Beilharz. 6. One Hundred Years of Socialism. 5. Modernity and Ambivalence (Oxford: Polity. 1981). Emphasis in the original. 2. 6 (1971). “Stalin and the Peasant Revolution: A Case Study in the Dialectics of Master and Slave. Social Democracy (London: Routledge. 1985. Leeds. Peter Beilharz (Boston: Blackwell. 1987) and Labour’s Utopias. 1994). 8. 16. 12. Zygmunt Bauman. Michael Mann. 1991). 1987). Modernity and Communism 1. Subsequent references to this book will be cited in the text using page numbers only. Peter Beilharz (Boston: Blackwell. Legislators and Interpreters: On Modernity. Zygmunt Bauman. Socialism: The Active Utopia (London: Allen and Unwin. 4.” New Left Review 214 (November 1995). Julian Hochfeld. 1987). Trotskyism. Transforming Labor (Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. Legislators and Interpreters (Oxford: Polity. “As the Twentieth Century Ages. 13. Trotskyism. Zygmunt Bauman: Dialectic of Modernity (London: Sage. 50. Socialism (London: Routledge 1959. 15. and the Transition to Socialism (London: Croom Helm. 1987). 3. 2. 1991). “Twenty Years After: Crisis of Soviet Type Societies. 11. Sassoon. Subsequent references to this book will be cited in the text using page numbers only. 3. Labour’s Utopias: Bolshevism. Zygmunt Bauman. reprinted in The Bauman Reader. 11. 1. 9. Modernity and the Holocaust (Oxford: Polity. Postmodern Socialism (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. Zygmunt Bauman. 1994). 20. 5.” Problems of Communism 20. Peter Beilharz. Peter Beilharz. 21. 10.” in Postmodern Ethics (Oxford: Polity. 6. ed. Peter Beilharz. L’Apres socialisme (Paris: Grasset. Devant la Guerre (Paris: Fayard. 1992). 1994). 747. 17. “The Age of Camps. Zygmunt Bauman. Ibid.” Telos 60 (1984): 263. 7. and the Transition to Socialism (London: Croom Helm. Émile Durkheim. 757. Emphasis in the original. Ibid. 1983). Zygmunt Bauman. Leszek Kolakowski. 9. 2001). 2001). Bauman. Zygmunt Bauman. Zygmunt Bauman. 19.” Leeds Occasional Papers in Sociology 19 (Leeds University. Sassoon. first published 1894/95). Zygmunt Bauman. 21. See Peter Beilharz. 1989). Zygmunt Bauman.. “A Pleading for Revolution: A Rejoinder to Z. no. Fabianism. 4. 12. Trotsky.. 18. 1916).
. 1972). N. Frank Parkin (London: Tavistock. Zygmunt Bauman. Suleiman (Durham. England: Penguin. 224. Karl Marx. Elite Formation: The Case of Poland. 1974). 129. “Economic Growth. 33. Ibid.. no. 63. Monika Langer. This essay revisits my own thinking in Labour’s Utopias (1992) and Postmodern Socialism (1994) and uses my 2002 work at Harvard in the Houghton Library as William Dean Howells Fellow in American Literature. Outsiders.. Ibid. 1. . 147. chap. Grundrisse (Harmondsworth... Ibid.. Peter Beilharz. Labour’s Utopias: Bolshevism. 132. 22.” Telos 47 (1981). “Assimilation into Exile: The Jew As a Polish Writer. 1860–1920. Social Structure.. 16. 15. “On the Maturation of Socialism..” in Intimations of Postmodernity (London: Routledge. 30. 3.” in The Social Analysis of Class Structure. Ibid.” Archives Europeene de Sociologie 12.. 13. Ibid. Travellers.” in Political Opposition in One Party States. My thanks to the Houghton Library and to Bernard Bailyn and Daniel Bell for their support in getting me there. 1994). Zygmunt Bauman. Looking Back I write this essay with thanks to David Lovell for friendship over a distance for a very long time. Social Democracy (London: Routledge. Ibid. 1. S. Fabianism. 1.C. 337. chap. Zygmunt Bauman. “Social Dissent in the East European Political System. Ibid..” Thesis Eleven 8 (1984). Postmodern Socialism: Romanticism. no. “The Notion of Expression in Marx. 26. 17. Ibid. Ibid.. 28. 20. 18. 1996). 1992). Zygmunt Bauman. City and State (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.. 34. Zygmunt Bauman. 29. 137–39. “Poland: On Its Own. “Communism: A Postmortem. ed. Labour’s Utopias. 51. L. Ibid.” in Exile and Creativity: Signposts. 21. 1973 [1857–58]). 16 (1964). Peter Beilharz. 14. 1992). See Beilharz. Zygmunt Bauman. Further resolution of these matters awaits another study. ed. Ibid. 171. to George Ritzer for poking me hard about my insistence that Marx was more romantic than futurist. 27.: Duke University Press. ed. 140. Zygmunt Bauman. Ibid. “Officialdom and Class: Bases of Inequality in Socialist Societies. Backward Glances. 704–5. 335. 25. Ibid. Ibid. Schapiro (London: Macmillan. 32. chap. 1 (1971): 46. 2. 19. 5. 144. 24. where I worked on the Bellamy papers.” Telos 79 (1989): 47. Thanks.” International Social Science Journal 5. 4. 228–29. 23.. finally. 3.Notes to Chapter 13 217 13. Zygmunt Bauman. 31. 53. “The Second Generation of Socialism. 226–27.
Ibid. Labour’s Utopias. Michael Mann. Mass. Canada: Transaction. Beilharz.” paper delivered to the Annual Proceedings of the American Sociological Association.. and the Transition to Socialism (London: Croom Helm. Mass. Thomas. The Sources of Social Power (New York: Cambridge University Press.” Bellamy Papers (Houghton Library. 1993). Ibid. 5. Cambridge. xxxix. ed. Subsequent references to this book will be cited in the text using page numbers only. Trotsky.. Harvard University.. August 2003. Fascists (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. E. Edward Bellamy: Apparitions of Things to Come (Chicago: Charles Kerr. 9. Subsequent references to this book will be cited in the text using page numbers only. 2004). 12. (Marburg. 1976). Belknap Press. Daniel Bell. Victoria de Grazia. Germany: Metropolis. Telemachus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Seymour Martin Lipset and Gary Marks.. Ibid. 18. Henry Demarest Lloyd and the Adversary Tradition (Cambridge. Heidenhoff’s Process (New York: Appleton. and see generally Jürgen Backhaus. Mass. Edward Bellamy. Dr. 2002). Michael Mann. Franklin Rosemont.Y. 1880). 4. Ibid. Why Is There No Socialism in the United States? (White Plains. 9. 2004). chap. “Edward Bellamy. 10. Atlanta.218 Notes to Chapter 14 6. 2... xvii.: Harvard University. 19.: Harvard University. Peter Beilharz. 7. With thanks to Sian Supski. 3 (Moscow: Progress Publishers. Subsequent references to this book will be cited in the text using page numbers only. 10. John C. “Edward Bellamy: Looking Back at American Socialism in the Nineteenth Century. 644–54. Karl Marx. Fenélon. 820. 20. 1. ed. Werner Sombart. 13. Marxian Socialism in the United States (Ithaca. Peter Beilharz. “The Philosophy of Edward Bellamy. 1983). Cambridge. 16. 1940.” Bellamy Papers (Houghton Library. 8. John Kautsky. Patrick Riley.). 8.). Europe: An Unfinished Adventure (Oxford: Polity. . 215.” 14. 2000). 10. Belknap Press. Edward Bellamy. 1996). 1996). 3. Edward Bellamy. Zygmunt Bauman. Capital. Beilharz. New York: M. vol. Trotskyism. 3 vols. Irresistible Empire: America’s Advance through Twentieth Century Europe (Cambridge. “The Religion of Solidarity. Leo Marx. 2. 1990). The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America (New York: Oxford. xix–xxii. Werner Sombart. 1994). Harvard University. 1987). Labour’s Utopias. Alternative America: Henry George. 1964). 17. 7. Subsequent references to this book will be cited in the text using page numbers only. Sharpe. 12. 2005). 1869.: Cornell University Press. 1971 . 15. 226. Mass. 14. Edward Morgan. 11. Beilharz. 6. Why Is There No Socialism in the United States? 3. Sombart. chap. Ibid.. N. It Didn’t Happen Here: Why Socialism Failed in the United States (New York: Norton. Social Democracy and the Aristocracy (New Brunswick. Socialism and America 1.
13. Ibid.J. . Why Is There No Labor Party in the United States? (Princeton.. Subsequent references to this book will be cited in the text using page numbers only. 2007). 15–16. 2005). 12. Robin Archer.Notes to Chapter 14 219 11. Michael Mann.: Princeton University Press. N. The Dark Side of Democracy: Explaining Ethnic Cleansing (New York: Cambridge University Press.
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Australia: Monash University. Chapter 10 first appeared in International Journal of Politics. no. no. 2003). and Society 11. Monash Publications in History 17 (Clayton. ed. no. 1985–86). Chapter 3 was first published in Thesis Eleven 26. 1994). Barry Smart and George Ritzer (London: Sage. no. Culture. 221 .Publication History Chapter 1 was first published in Handbook of Social Theory. Chapter 5 was first published in The Socialist Register (London: Merlin Press. 1 (1990): 78–94. Chapter 7 was first published in Thesis Eleven 27 (1990): 54–62. Chapter 9 was published in European Legacy 1. Chapter 8 was published in Political Theory Newsletter 7 (1995): 571–79. 2 (1996): 538–44. 1 (1997). 3 (1989): 15–29. ed. Bain Attwood. 285–91. Chapter 4 first appeared in History of European Ideas 19 (1994): 1–3. Chapter 6 was first published in Social Justice 16. Chapter 2 first appeared in Labour Histories.
Chapter 13 was originally published in European Legacy 9. .222 Publication History Chapter 11 is from Peter Beilharz. 5 (2004): 597–604. no. Chapter 12 comes from Thesis Eleven 70 (2002): 88–99. 2000). Zygmunt Bauman: Dialectic of Modernity (London: Sage Publications.
54 fascism. Eurocommunism. 120. Émile. 58–63. 112–13 culture. 103–4 communism: Australian. 165 Eastern Europe modernity. 129. 108. 169–71. 9–11. Edward. 30. 77 Althusserianism. United States. Australian laborism. 149. 51–71 Australian Labor Party (ALP). 17. 137. Soviet Union. 12. 1. 168 Fraser government. 69–70. See also Communist Party of Australia Communist Manifesto. See also communism critical theory. 90–92. Eduard.Index Accord. 191–96 capitalism: Zygmunt Bauman. 117 Fabianism. 78–80 cities. See Capital Durkheim. 42–49. the. Catholicism. 171–75 Enlightenment. 29. 97–98. 2–6. 80 Capital. 51–53 223 . 137 feminism. 142. socialism. 35. 167–69 British Labor Party. marxism. 30–34 Bolshevism. 78–79 Das Kapital. 121–28. 22. 107–15. 4–5. 14–15. Arthur. 21. 136–37. 43. 27. 54–69. 190–91 Catholicism. 5–6 Communist Party of Australia (CPA). 87–94. 167–78. 108. 138–41. 90–92 ChiXey government. 183–86. 135 Calwell. 148. 22 Bernstein. 59. Zygmunt Bauman. modernity. Australian Labor Party. 167–78. 112. 60–61 Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU). 88–89. 188 Benjamin. 142–78 Bellamy. 119. British laborism. 21. 122–23. 51. Karl Marx. 51–72 Bauman. 132. 5–21. 1 Curtin government. Eduard Bernstein. 152–56 Eurocommunism. 3. Walter. 132 Frankfurt School. 44 dystopias. The. 20. 198. 54. 24. 74. 164. Gough Whitlam. Zygmunt. socialism. 117.
52–54. laborism. 12–14. 99–100. 127. See also postmodernity postmodernity. C. 32. 7–11. David. deWnition. 95–97. 43. communism. 157–58. 50–71. 69–80. 34–40. Georg. as counterculture of capitalism. 22 social democracy. 58–69. 51–65. 146. 116–41. 1–16. socialism. contemporary marxism. 71–75. 30. 3. 71–75. See social democracy liberalism. 54. marxism Legislators and Interpreters. Jean-Jacques. Eduard Bernstein. 138. Whitlam government. 31–34. 10–12. 120. 117 Jacobinism. Robert. Karl Kautsky. 102–4. Fabianism. communism. 109 Russian Revolution. 118–24. laborism. Bolshevism. 104. 27–42. French. “end” of. 27–41. author’s perspective. 153–54 Higgins. 80–84. 5. Fabianism. 39. without modernity. 196–99 Manuscripts. Michael. B. the. 189–90. marxism.224 German Social Democratic Party (SPD). 106. 107. 138. 145. 171–78. 107–15. 116–41 self-reXexivity. 150 Owen. 151–65 Lenin. 27–41. 9. 137–38. Antonio Gramsci. Australian. European. socialism. 138–41. 1. 108–9. 93 Sassoon. David Lovell. 152–53. See communism. cities. without marxism. 7. 144–47 order. 110. 6. See Legislators and Interpreters Italian Communist Party (PCI). Accord. postmodernity. 36. 142–66 interpreters. socialism. Bolshevism. 43. sociology. 54–58. 167–78. Karl. Zygmunt Bauman. 42. 23. Whitlam government. as ideology. 13–14. marxism. 113. 95–106. 4 Marx. See also Fabianism. 169–71. 23. 19–20. 148. social democracy. 135. Soviet Union. 107–15 Lovell. 43. 149 postmodernism. See also laborism. 34–40. goals. 15. labor . in Australia. 2–6. utopianism. 188. 98 New Prince. 42. 136–37. 171–78 politics. 144 Kautsky. Eduard Bernstein. 147–51 liberal democracy. deWnition. 3. Antonio. 22. 126–32. after communism. signiWcance. 77–78 intellectuals. 147–48 Hardy. Karl. See also laborism. 43. 68–71 hermeneutics. 60–61. 146. 50–86. Eastern Europe. Hawke government. 45 pluralism. socialism Social Democratic Party (SPD). Max Weber. 43 Rousseau. 108 laborism. 27–29 Mann. 38 Menzies government. 43 Macpherson. 13.. and French Revolution. 28. labor movement labor movement: Australian New Labor. 30–32 socialism: alter ego of modernity. totalitarianism. 132–38. 28–29. 3. 108–9. Donald. social democracy left. 90. 108. 112 Polish modernity. 170. utopianism. 22. Eduard Bernstein. 152–65 romanticism. 142 Simmel. 1–16. modernity. communism. Fabianism. Vladimir. Karl Kautsky. 29. 87–88 Hawke government. 179–83 marxism: Althusserian. Werner Sombart. 23. Henry Bourne. 6–7. Edward Bellamy. Karl Kautsky. social democracy. 183–86. postmodernity. Alain Touraine. 109. 117. 30–34. collapse. 23. 1. 120–22 Gramsci. 119. 28. Frank. 22– 26. JeanJacques Rousseau. 95–97. 111. 79 Index modernity: Edward Bellamy. 6. as capitalism by default. 74–75. 34–40.
50–53. 93 Whitlam. communist. utopianism. Edward Bellamy. 22. 29. 143–44. 142–66. 19 Trotskyism. socialism. 21. Max. 142–51. 145–46 225 totalitarianism. Karl Marx. 44. 6. 43–48 Weber. 1. 45–48 Webb. Zygmunt Bauman. 80–84 . as social theory. 175–77 Sombart. Alain. 14. 99–100. Ferdinand. 120. 137–38. 105 Tönnies. liberalism. Werner. 27–41. 66. 142–51. United States. 126–32. Gough. 39. 144. Fabianism. 167–78 Touraine. 1–16. 8–11. 14. 200. modernity. 189–200 utopianism. 189–200. 45. 22. Karl Marx. 4. 146. Jacobinism. 189–96 Soviet Union. 103–4. Alain Touraine. romanticism. marxism. 64 Socialist Workers Party (SWP). 1–16. 54 Whitlam government. 29. 3. 180–83. 200. 10–12. 37–38. 96–97. 28. reformist. Robert Owen. selfreXexivity. 19–20. 4–5. 100–103. 183–86. Sidney Webb. Leon. 98–99 Solidarity movement. 1–16. See also social democracy Socialist Party of America (SPA). 3. marxism. Eduard Bernstein. 97–99 Trotsky. 64 sociology: cities.Index movement. 142. 93. 192 Socialist Party of Australia (SPA). Sidney and Beatrice. historical. 169–71 Thesis Eleven. Karl Kautsky. 107–15. 19–20 United States. 95–106. 29. 179–83. Russian Revolution.
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Contradictions (continued from page ii) 10 Giovanni Arrighi and Beverly J. S. Ishay. Intellectuals. Two Kinds of Rationality: Kibbutz. The Sign Sets: 1967–Present François Dosse. Chaos and Governance in the Modern World System François Dosse. 1945–1966 Patricia Hill Collins. The Rise of Social Theory 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 . Socialism. The French Melting Pot: Immigration. Volume 1. Torpey. and National Identity John C. and Generational Conflict Micheline R. Evens. Fighting Words: Black Women and the Search for Justice Craig Calhoun and John McGowan. and Dissent: The East German Opposition and Its Legacy T. The Rising Sign. Democracy. Hannah Arendt and the Meaning of Politics Gérard Noiriel. editors. M. Citizenship. Silver. History of Structuralism. Internationalism and Its Betrayal Johan Heilbron. Volume 2. History of Structuralism.
.PETER BEILHARZ is professor of sociology at La Trobe University in Australia. and State. City. His other books include Postmodern Socialism: Romanticism.
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